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Minus the Bear’s newest addition to their discography, Acoustics II, consists of acoustic renditions of eight songs from previous albums and two completely new songs. The production quality, which luckily always remains near number one on Minus the Bear’s agenda, is absolutely top notch. Just as their previous albums, each instrument clearly shines through in its own stereo space; not a single moment comes across muddy, overbearing, or harsh. However, with the transition to an acoustic set, the keys and synthesizers cut through much more noticeably than before, which is in no way a bad thing.
The first of the new additions to Minus the Bear’s repertoire, “Riddles,” kicks the album off at a strong and interesting place. The song transitions smoothly, from spacey guitar and heavily jazz infused bass lines to a driven ending, reminiscent of “Into the Mirror” from their 2010 album OMNI. The other new track, “The Storm”, immediately makes the listener curious as to what the song would sound like plugged in. Stylistically, it fits directly in with the tracks from Infinity Overhead.
Very rarely will the listener find themselves bored; one would have to look hard to find stagnate a moment between “The Game Needed Me”, “Summer Angel”, and “Empty Party Rooms.” However, one of the most memorable moments lies within “Diamond Lightning.” The beautifully powerful chorus was executed with orchestral precision and endless passion; it will certainly hit home with long time fans and newcomers alike. With Jake Snider’s unique, seductive vocals and melodies, most will have a hard time putting the album down.
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