Armed with just a guitar and a vocalist, Adrian Vandenberg strips back a selection of songs from his 20-year career. The 8 track album has a clear focus on the emotional content of each song, taking it back to basics without the forcefulness of a full band to distract. Without the big band to hide behind, Vandenberg's acoustic album is hit and miss.

There's not nearly enough percussive guitar work to add further dynamics. Without the full orchestration What Doesn't Kill You feels disjointed after the first verse and could have benefited from a more substantial reworking. Other songs such as Sailing Ships and One Step Behind lend themselves to the acoustic arrangement. Out of Reach is the only song that boasts drums alongside bass and violins and you can't help feeling as though the album should have peppered some of these elements throughout. It's Jan Hoving's vocals that are undeniably the star of the album. It's undoubtedly unplugged, but a bit more rugged in places would have allowed the essence of the music to shine.

Groupie Rating 2/5


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