There are some albums you always hope will see the light of the CD case. Anything from Neil Young’s vault or a lost nugget from Joe Strummer and The Clash would be a welcomed surprise at anytime. Lost classics aside, an acoustic album usually burns with an equally nostalgic and personal touch, redefining songs that might otherwise sound over-produced. As for a John Lennon acoustic album? Well, we’ll take what we can get from the legend on his first acoustic album aptly titled Acoustic.
Acoustic mixes classics from Lennon’s post Beatles catalog (Cold Turkey, Imagine, Watching The Wheels, Working Class Hero, Love) and seven tracks being released for the first time. Starting off with the album’s most defined recording, “Working Class Hero,” “Love” and later, “Well Well Well,” the album stirs with a touching intimacy. “Real Love” released in 1996, is shown in stark demo form, while others like “God” and “My Mummy’s Dead” are laid down rawer than a plate of Sashimi. “Cold Turkey” is so crude that Lennon’s voice is aching, and unfortunately, most of Acoustic stumbles down this same lo-fi route, proving Yoko Ono was really digging deep for anything acoustic worthy.
Acoustic boasts some bright spots – including a classic album cover of Lennon strumming his guitar, and linear notes with lyrics and chords, but the album itself never lives up to its great author’s legacy. Yeah, we’ll always take more Lennon material, but it’s hard not to wonder what a real John Lennon acoustic album would have sounded like.