Live and Otherwise: Acoustic Renditions

The guitar is simply spellbinding. Sometimes, the mark of a good musician lies in the fact that if they were put on stage with just a voice and a six string, their message would be as striking as when produced in a sound studio. At least that’s how I categorize some artists within the alternative genre, to quantify whether they are truly talented at their craft. Some acoustic versions are like visiting a completely different planet; one that you didn’t even know could be crafted by the music playing through the speakers. As the soothing acoustic sounds wash over you, that feeling of serenity renews you to go about your day, or at least leave you with a happy feeling within your musical bosom. Here are some great acoustic tracks that I hope brighten your day, or at least take you away from the daily grind for a few precious moments:

Drumming Song- Florence & The Machine
This is hands down my favorite version of this track. With Florence’s haunting lilt to careful craft of each sentence, the ambiance of this song is entirely different from its louder and more danceable counterpart. If my obsessions over someone were taking over, I feel this darker twinge would express the sentiment better.

Playground Love- Phoenix
Though the original artist of this song is the very delightful Air (think airy and ambient music), Thomas Mars, lead singer of Phoenix, is the guest vocalist on the original track (moonlighting as Gordon tracks for the Virgin Suicides soundtrack). It would make sense that his other group, the very smooth Phoenix would do an acoustic version. It really amps up the romantic elements of the song.

Lack Of Color- Death Cab For Cutie
Though the original is a classic, I do feel the necessity to comment on how well Ben Gibbard (Death Cab’s lead singer) seems to approach acoustic tracks. This is a great version and also the acoustic rendition of The Postal Service’s Recycled Air is worth a listen as well. Talented man, that Ben Gibbard, talented indeed.

Baby Girl I’m A Blur- Say Anything
I actually felt true emotion ring from Max Bemis’ mouth in this rendition. Though I am enamored with Bemis as his part in the lyrically potent ensemble of Say Anything, the other electronic based version doesn’t hit me in quite the same place. This one actually pulls at the heart strings. Maybe it’s the earnest expression on his face. Whatever the reason, it works.

Wonderwall- Ryan Adams
Though the original version is an upbeat infectious pop gem that has dazzled the many (thanks to Oasis), this run down version from the dark skies of Ryan Adams mental state have more raw emotion tied to it. This is one of my favorite tracks of all time, and for me always surpasses the original. When an artist finally makes a connection with his music, it would be foolish to let it go. And every time I hear this song, I finally understand the bittersweet message that Adams was trying to get across.

What are your favorite acoustic tracks? Did mine leave their mark, or do you think you have a better suggestion? Whatever your musical concern, let me know! Email me at gmarsha2@asu.edu, or follow me at @whimsicalwookie.