Howard Jones

Live Acoustic America

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Live Acoustic America Review

by William Ruhlmann

In 1992, coinciding with the release of his fifth album, In The Running, Howard Jones undertook a tour of the U.S. accompanying himself on acoustic piano with only a percussionist in support. The tour doesn't seem to have had the desired effect of successfully promoting his current album, which became his first to miss the charts in the U.S. and the U.K. (despite the hit "Lift Me Up") and ended his career as a major-label act. But it was artistically satisfying for an artist usually consigned to the synth-pop category, who could emphasize his melodies and hopeful lyrics, not to mention his instrumental virtuosity and elastic voice, in the format. This recording was made early in the tour, on April 28, at the Variety Arts Theater in Los Angeles. Jones plays all of his hits and a representative sampling of songs from his five albums. Jones' hits collection may make a better sampler, but this set demonstrates that he can generate his own electricity even when his machines are unplugged.

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