Is it me, or does it seem that when a rock band puts an acoustic song on its album that it’s merely a stab at trying to sound “respectable?” Like “yeah we rock, but we have a serious side, too.”
I’m thinking Green Day here … and I think Oasis did something similar. Even the odd hair metal band would have a song now and then that showed their maturity because the guitarist laid it down with an acoustic guitar.
Even The Minutemen have an acoustic instrumental on Double Nickles on the Dime—and damn if it doesn’t seem to work at some level.
The only example I can think of that really does this well for me is The Jam‘s “That’s Entertainment.” It’s acoustic in all the right ways and works well with Weller’s high la, la las … so it doesn’t feel forced.
So, keeping folks like Neil Young and Dylan out of it, because they were so often acoustic—are there any other uncharacteristically acoustic rock bands that have successfully pulled off the acoustic song and not made it seem like a crass bid for “seriousness?”