Monday, March 01, 2010

CD of the Day: ‘From the Ground Up,’ Collective Soul (2005)

Now, I like Collective Soul—I own a bunch of their albums, and I’ve seen them twice in concert. But this acoustic EP stinks.

The best way to approach an unplugged session is to act as if you’re still plugged in. Take a lesson from bands who’ve done it best—Pearl Jam and Nirvana, for example—and attack the songs with the same verve as you always do, and let them play out as they may. For most of this disc, Collective Soul do the opposite. Frontman Ed Roland affects a horrible whispery, over-emotional voice that sounds like he's trying way, way too hard to be poignant. It’s all terribly over dramatic. Even a great song like “December” is trashed here.

Not until the sixth entry, an excellent version of “She Said,” does Collective Soul start to sound like themselves again. Roland is much better from there on out, but that means only three of these eight tracks are worthwhile. Too little, too late.

Grade: D+

Favorite Track: "She Said"

Least Favorite Track: "December"

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