Solo Acoustic, Vol. 2 (Live)
A companion piece to 2005’s Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1, 2008’s Vol. 2 again presents Jackson Browne in a relaxed live setting where with just acoustic guitar or piano he brings his deep catalog to new life. While Browne’s mellow musical tone has come to represent a laid-back ‘70s Southern California lifestyle, the reality beyond the surface is quite different. Browne is a dynamic live performer, infusing great intensity with his gripping often emotionally ambivalent songs that are far more saturated with fright and worry than their gentle piano notes suggest. Browne has never shied from speaking his mind and many of his tunes are less those of a ‘70s styled navel-gazing troubadour than those of a concerned citizen. “Casino Nation” is the most outspoken here, but Browne doesn’t settle for a mere recapitulation of his greatest hits either. “Somebody’s Baby” from the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack is the album’s most well-known track. “Something Fine” reaches back to his debut album. “My Stunning Mystery Companion,” “The Night Inside Me,” “Sky Blue and Black” and “In the Shape of a Heart” show that he’s never lost his melodic touch. Throw in some casual chatting with audience and you have an evening with an engaging and extremely talented old friend.