I feel I need to preface this review. I am usually a big fan of acoustic efforts from talented bands. MTV Unplugged might be one of the five best shows to ever grace network television. Along with the Wonder Years, its absence from current daily programming baffles me.
That said, the acoustic scene is not for every band. Holiday Parade’s latest acoustic effort, To You. From Us, is good, but it’s also a good example of an unnecessary spin on music that is more powerful when it isn’t stripped down.
The album opens with the sad “Never Enough.” The empty sound here magnifies singer Andy Albert’s melancholy emotions, but it lacks the muscle of the fleshed-out version found on 2007’s This is My Year.
“Walking By” comes a little closer to success. The piano goes a long way toward balancing out the empty sound of the album, and Albert’s vocals fit in nicely. He manages to sound evocative and dejected simultaneously.
The album ends with the upbeat and live “My Philosophy.” I enjoy the background sound of the studio in this song. It reminds me a little bit of “Badfish” by Sublime. I also feel that the more buoyant sound here lends itself better to success on an acoustic album.
Overall, this is a solid effort from a young band, but I’d like to hear the amps cranked up to 11 on their next album.