Various Artists

Acoustic, Vol. 2

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The title is a bit of a misnomer. There are plenty of electric instruments sprinkled throughout Acoustic, Vol. 2's 40 tracks, but most songs fall into the genres of alternative pop and folk rather than rock. This combination of previously-released album cuts from a variety of British and American artists, in and of itself, isn't what makes this U.K. series unique. There have always been (and always will be) plenty of mixed-genre compilations filling up the music store racks, but not many that can unite the generations quite like the Acoustic series. That seems to be the intention, at any rate. Disc one, for instance, features mid-tempo selections by contemporary alternative artists like Beth Orton ("She Cries Your Name") and spiritual forebears from the 1960s and '70s like Nick Drake ("Northern Sky"). Similarly, disc two ranges from Donovan's ("Catch the Wind") to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' "Into My Arms." For the most part, the formula works, although it does sometimes sound more like a (DJ-free) radio station than a compilation.

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