Jon Sonnenberg Acoustic Selections

Better known for his electronic work, Cleveland’s Jon Sonnenberg has recreated and rerecorded some of his songs in a more traditional manner on his latest album, and it turns out that he might be better served by focussing on this from now on. Acoustic Selections tries its utmost to strive for the giddy heights of early Badly Drawn Boy and Jim Noir, or the sublime pop of Jens Lekman, but doesn’t quite get it right. He uses some similar tricks to Noir, such as quirky instruments like a toy piano, and tries rather ambitiously to create the kind of rich textures that dominate his other work, with only limited success. When everything does fall into place, Acoustic Selections is an interesting album that delivers a few neat little pop songs, like the standout "Everything Lies In Ruins.” However, with 17 tracks it’s almost inevitable that some are going to be weaker than others, and Sonnenberg is only hitting the target about half the time, hinting he needs to spend a bit more time on quality control. (Old Man)