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Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1

Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1

4.7 4
by Jackson Browne
The "unplugged" concept certainly isn't a new one, but when it's explored by an artist whose songs stand up so sturdily to a good old-fashioned strip-down, it's every bit as fresh as it ever was. That's certainly the case with this disc, Jackson Browne's first live release since 1977's seminal Running on Empty -- a disc that's


The "unplugged" concept certainly isn't a new one, but when it's explored by an artist whose songs stand up so sturdily to a good old-fashioned strip-down, it's every bit as fresh as it ever was. That's certainly the case with this disc, Jackson Browne's first live release since 1977's seminal Running on Empty -- a disc that's something of a template for Solo Acoustic Vol. 1, but not an exact blueprint. For one thing, Browne's in much better spirits these days, as evidenced by both his jovial between-song banter and the easygoing manner in which he delivers his classic material. Trading off between guitar (the accompaniment for "Take It Easy") and piano (his instrument of choice on a stellar version of 1986's "Lives in the Balance"), Browne has seldom sounded more natural. Refreshingly, he takes listeners down some less well trodden paths as well, stopping at vistas like the poignant "Barricades of Heaven" and an intimate version of the longing love paean "Your Bright Baby Blues." Pretty much all of the disc's tracks offer something of a departure from their studio versions, but the most intriguing piece might be the one that's never been released before in any form, the elegant "The Birds of St. Marks," which exudes a timeless air that belies its three decades on the shelf. It's nice to hear Browne sounding this revitalized -- and if he's this charged up about his past, it's safe to assume that the road ahead looks mighty bright.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The opening 28 seconds of Jackson Browne's Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 are massive crowd applause. Even its volume level gets boosted the way it did on live albums from the 1970s. Guess he wants you to know he still matters to people -- and it's totally unnecessary. The music here speaks for itself. Whether or not one appreciates Browne's recorded catalog is immaterial; his gift as a songwriter is enigmatic, unassailable, and singular. There are 12 songs here from throughout Browne's career, ranging from "These Days" and "For Everyman" to "Lives in the Balance" and "Looking East" and all points in between. There are numerous spoken and instrumental intros to the material; Browne's a fine and comfortable communicator when it comes to sitting naked and alone in front of an audience, though sometimes his humor is cynical and borders on bitter. The versions of "For a Dancer" and "The Pretender" are deeply moving as are "These Days" and "Too Many Angels." It would be easy to live without all the intros, as they merely point toward Browne and what he has accomplished, when the songs so easily speak for themselves and for him. Perhaps on volume two he'll let that happen. Despite his many asides, this is a fine and necessary addition to Browne's catalog. Still one has to wonder, with the double-disc Rhino set that appeared earlier in 2005 and these live retrospectives, when there will be new material coming from a songwriter who has had something to say that mattered in each of the last four decades. Let's hope it's soon.

Product Details

Release Date:
Inside Recordings


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jackson Browne   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Jackson Browne   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Luis Conte   Composer
Paul Dieter   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Glenn Frey   Composer
Mark Goldenberg   Composer
Bill Lane   Engineer
Mauricio-Fritz Lewak   Composer
Scott Thurston   Composer
Frank Ockenfels   Cover Photo
Donald Miller   Executive Producer
Dustin Stanton   Artwork
RJ DeSanto   Engineer
Cree Clover Miller   Executive Producer

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Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been following Jackson Browne since his first hit in 1972. It was Late for the Sky that really pulled me in, and all subsequent albums have had their place in my heart. I was at many of Jackson's shows during his heyday, especially at the huge Blossom Music Center shows in Ohio, and a wonderful show at Kent State University. I saw him at the Palace Theater in downtown Cleveland when he did an acoustic show in 1990. I loved every show I ever saw. But the crowning moment by far was his solo acoustic tour in 2002. I saw him in Ft. Myers and by far, after all these years, it was the best. This album showcases his amazing natural talent. Today I purchased a ticket to see his next solo acoustic show here in FM. I am counting the days!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i've seen jackson solo & accoustic twice, and its just like being there. even the playful banter b/t songs, you realize here is a great artist having fun, doing what he does best. here you get to truly appreciate one of jacksons greatest gifts his voice! the songs sound as good as ever, so kick back and enjoy. Hope theres a vol 2 coming
Guest More than 1 year ago
Put most anyone with this long a career in this situation with a retrospective of their stuff from the early 70's and it simply would not hold up...especially in a solo acoustic mode. However, its a testament to Browne as one heckuva songwriter and musician that he pulls it off so well. This is a collection of songs that will absolutely haunt. I never thought I would say that about this album, but it has given me a totally new perspective on Browne. It takes me back to his hit days and makes me think that they really overproduced him at the time. He is at his very best on this album in this solo acoustic mode....and this is how he should remain. Here's to hoping that volume 2 comes out soon. Next time Browne comes to town with this tour, I will definitely see it. Hard to pick favorite tracks and they will change as you listen to it (which to me is a sign of great music), but the "Barriacades of Heaven" is really fine and shows off his guitar skills too. "These Days" is also super and really shows he has always had lyrical skill, even at 16. Everything on this CD is personal and all of it is just plain good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago