Various Artists

Imaginational Anthem

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There was a point when "acoustic music" was equated with picking up an acoustic guitar, and with a handful of chords, singing about changing the world. But folk music was obviously not the only popular "acoustic-based" music to emerge during the past few decades, as evidenced by the compilation Imaginational Anthem. Combining performances from artists of both yesteryear (many of whom offer their first new recordings in decades) and today, the 16-track set focuses on acoustic guitar instrumentals that, at times, are quite technically impressive without coming off as pretentious. Compiler Josh Rosenthal has done a masterful job blending the older and newer artists together, as it's often impossible to tell which era a specific recording is from. Standouts include the exceptional "Bouba's Bounce" by Brad Barr (who is a member of the modern-day jam band the Slip), the jazzy "Low Barometer" from Bern Nix, and two different versions of the title track from Max Ochs (one recorded in 2004, the other from 1969). Also included is a rare John Fahey track, "O'Holy Night," from 1991. If you're looking to dig deeper into acoustic music than merely just side two of Led Zeppelin III, then Imaginational Anthem is highly recommended.

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