Luka Bloom

Amsterdam

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According to Bloom, he'd resisted the idea of doing a live album despite requests for a decade prior to the release of this set, recorded on February 11, 2002, in Amsterdam. In its song selection, the record's unsurprising, reaching back as far as his early career and sprinkling numbers from throughout the 1990s with others from his albums in the early '00s. It's different from his studio recordings, though, in that it presents Bloom accompanied by nothing other than his guitar. In that sense it's Luka Bloom unplugged, giving spirited performances of his thoughtful, sometimes verging on too-sensitive songs that are stripped to their core in an intimate venue. The audience is certainly into it, singing along with him at points. As a change of pace, on the closing gentle "Gabriel," Bloom switches from guitar to a more solo orchestral backing with harmonium-like textures.

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