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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new style
Acoustic is a skilful reworking of selected tracks from the albums Tri-State, Group Therapy and Sirens of the Sea (under the OceanLab name) as well as a new track, Making Plans.

The switch to an acoustic and more orchestral sound has the effect of slowing the tempo of a lot of the tracks, giving greater focus and clarity to the lyrics and impressive vocal...
Published 17 months ago by Frederick Barnstaple

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly stands up in its own right
Doing acoustic or downtempo covers of big dance tunes has been 'a thing' for quite a while now, so fair play to Above & Beyond for tackling it on their own terms. So what happens when you strip away the huge trance production and look at the songs that lie underneath? Is it diamonds, or dirt? Well... sort of neither, really. The results are OK, but not brilliant...
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Stuart Bruce


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new style, 29 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
Acoustic is a skilful reworking of selected tracks from the albums Tri-State, Group Therapy and Sirens of the Sea (under the OceanLab name) as well as a new track, Making Plans.

The switch to an acoustic and more orchestral sound has the effect of slowing the tempo of a lot of the tracks, giving greater focus and clarity to the lyrics and impressive vocal performances. Also, it’s likely this album will appeal to new fans who haven’t heard the trance originals.

The tracks that stood out the most included You Got to Go which was slow, chilled out with ZoŽ Johnston’s soothing voice and a piano motif, as well as switching into a downtempo section that reminded me of Zero 7 in their Simple Things era. Can’t Sleep works very well with flourishes of strings and a jazzy trumpet. Good for Me, perhaps my favourite track from Tri-State, is also included with the addition of guitar strumming and percussion. Love is Not Enough adds to the later stages of the album with a bit of a folky influence and warm sounds.

The acoustic approach is a worthwhile move and displays Above & Beyond’s skills in multiple genres. The depth of instrumentation and the live band add a more timeless feel to the tracks and fans of the originals will enjoy hearing their favourite tracks in a new way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking album, 7 Feb. 2014
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Cameron Noble (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
I had the rare pleasure of being at the Porchester Hall to watch this being recorded. It was a wonderful event, but what was most incredible was how some of the songs brought several audience members to tears. They were genuinely emotional performances by A&B, Zoe Johnston et al, and you can feel this when listening to this album. In any case it is fantastic to hear classic trance tracks re-arranged in this manner, I just wish more so-called 'trance' artists were brave enough to do the same.

Very few albums are of this calibre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Are Above & Beyond!, 27 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
Wonderful album. The interpretation of the tracks to an acoustic format is just amazing. They work so so well.

Can't fault it! Listen and love it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly stands up in its own right, 14 April 2015
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
Doing acoustic or downtempo covers of big dance tunes has been 'a thing' for quite a while now, so fair play to Above & Beyond for tackling it on their own terms. So what happens when you strip away the huge trance production and look at the songs that lie underneath? Is it diamonds, or dirt? Well... sort of neither, really. The results are OK, but not brilliant.

The review profile of this CD is massively positive (36 5-star reviews and counting), so I do feel a bit bad being a dissenter, and I'm sure I'll get a few unhelpful votes as a result, but never mind.

This ends up sounding a lot like an album by Delerium, but slightly lacking in energy. Without the electrohouse beats, it can be a little bit tiring to get ballad-after-ballad-after-ballad, which begin, after a while, to sound somewhat the same. The gentle production- with nicely arranged, well-produced strings and some very polished, delicate touches- is fine, but it's the same on every track more or less, and it does just lack a tiny bit of imagination, sadly.

It is lovely to hear some actually fairly good songwriting being brought to the fore- "Satellite" remains a favourite of mine, and you can never have too much of Zoe Johnston's beautiful voice. The songs do mostly stand up in their own right, and they're *mostly* not just a collection of words from the generic trance dictionary, and while none of this was ever going to win any Ivor Novello awards, it's certainly not embarrassing. Unfortunately though, this doesn't quite end up feeling like a 'complete' album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant album IMHO, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
A stunning album. Great collection of songs, with the mix of male and female vocalists really adding to the musical journey for the listener. Thoroughly recommened.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Class, 16 April 2014
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
I love this CD, it's a constant favourite for in the car after a hard day. brilliant vocals, great music and some absolute classics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars always loved above & beyond/oceanlab music, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
always loved above & beyond/oceanlab music, & this is a relaxing, chilled out take on some of their best vocal tracks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful listening experience, 10 May 2014
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J. S. Simpson (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
Great album, demonstrating the versatility and talent of Above and Beyond. I has become a favourite play in the car.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A&B Acoustic, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: Acoustic (MP3 Download)
I've always loved A&B for their cutting edge tunes. This album is certainly in amongst my top 5 ever albums. A chill out twist to the boys trance/dance tunes. Amazing
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 4 May 2015
By 
MR A R FORD (Newhaven, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Acoustic (Audio CD)
I'm a huge fan of A&B. Tri-State and Group Therapy would both be in my top 10 albums of all time. I enjoyed watching this live acoustic set. Stripped of the dance beats, it showed the melodic simplicity and emotional power of the songs. And Zoe Johnston's angelic vocals are sublime. Which sadly can't be said for Tony's ill judged attempt to sing Making Plans. That's the only duff track though. Inexplicably, Paavo's gorgeous piano piece Small Moments, that opened the performance, is missing from the CD.
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