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Jackson Browne 

Solo Acoustic Vol. 2 (Inside)

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Recorded live across the globe, this sequel to 2005's hits-leaning Vol. 1 emphasizes Browne's recent and more obscure material. He accompanies himself on acoustic guitar and piano, putting the focus on lyrics and his still-warm voice. But besides the briskly executed "Redneck Friend," this is pretty stark stuff. It says something about the timelessness of Browne's songs that one of his earliest, "Something Fine," rests so comfortably alongside newer cuts. And except for the pointed "Casino Nation," the left-leaning singer-songwriter steers clear of his usual political soapbox. Browne's easy, jocular manner adds to the sense of intimacy, making this a perfect forum for an artist whose songs seem tailor-made for the setting.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Tierney Smith

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