Various Artists

Acoustic, Vol. 3

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The third installment in V2's ongoing series of unplugged performances by old and new alternative and indie rock artists, Acoustic, Vol. 3 gathers two more discs' worth of songs by artists including Starsailor, Grand Drive, Elbow, Eva Cassidy, and Stereophonics. The set plays a little bit fast and loose with their definition of "acoustic," but the inclusion of songs such as Zero 7's "Destiny (Acoustic Mix)" and Moloko's "Familiar Feeling (Plankton's Country Slice Remix)," work because they fit the collection's overall mellow mood and add to its diversity. And Acoustic, Vol. 3 is nothing if not diverse, spanning Brit-pop and proto-Brit-pop with Oasis' "Songbird" and The La's' "There She Goes"; the experimental folk-pop of I Am Kloot's "Untitled #1"; delicate singer/songwriter-isms like Brendan Benson's "Life in the D," and Baby Bird's "There's Something Going On"; and the postmodern Brazilian pop of Bebel Gilberto's "August Day Song" in the first disc alone. Disc Two is a little more traditional, offering classics such as The Velvet Underground and Nico's "Sunday Morning," Leonard Cohen's "So Long Marianne," the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Hot Burrito #1," and Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me," as well as songs by like-minded contemporary artists, including Jeff Buckley's "Lilac Wine," Ryan Adams' "In My Time of Need," and Ron Sexsmith's "Thumbelina Farewell." Other highlights include Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man's "Mysteries," Mercury Rev's "Goddess on a Hiway," and the Bees' "A Minha Menina." While Acoustic, Vol. 3 doesn't offer any exclusive tracks, it is a thoughtfully compiled collection that works equally well as a mood piece or as an introduction to some of the more obscure bands included on it.

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