Released: Aug 27, 2013
Genre: Acoustic Rock, Blues Rock, Hip-Hop
Label: Martyr Inc., EMI
Number Of Tracks: 12
With such a unique style, this album can't really compare to anything else except others in Everlast's discography.
The Life Acoustic
Mainer, on august 05, 2014 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: From House of Pain to Whitey Ford, Eric Schrody, better known as Everlast has worn a couple of different hats throughout his career. From his early success in 1992 with hip-hop group House of Pain's hit single, "Jump Around" to this album, "The Life Acoustic," his musical stylings have taken a 180 degree turn.
This album is very bare-bones in style. There's really no additional instrumentation besides Everlast's acoustic guitar and a keyboardist playing in the background. If I had to pick one thing to complain about, it may have to be the about the sound of Everlast's guitar. As much of a fan of acoustic music that I am, I feel his guitar sounds a bit thin. Maybe a little bit more bass frequency in the mix would do it some good and give it a bit of "oomph"? I think so...
Everlast's gruff, deep voice is on display the most throughout the album, though not the most gifted singer on the planet, his rough and honest delivery gets the job done perfectly on every track. Something else that I found sort of interesting (if not unnecessary) is the introducing of five tracks on the album. On these five tracks, Everlast announces the title of the song before beginning to play. Eight of the tracks on "The Life Acoustic" have been previously recorded within Everlast's solo back-catalog, the other four are covers.
1. "Sad Girl" - This song was first recorded in 2004 for Everlast's fourth solo album, "White Trash Beautiful." In the song, Everlast tells of meeting a single mother who's man is out of the picture. As the rest of the album that follows, this song is mainly driven by an acoustic guitar with a little bit of keyboard.
2. "Black Jesus" - "Black Jesus" was first heard in the year 2000 on the album "Eat at Whitey's." Surprisingly with a title like this, the song is not about religion, but rather about the ups and downs Everlast's career had gone through at the time.
3. "Today" - This song comes from "White Ford Sings the Blues," Everlast's 1998 album (which also features his biggest solo hit, "What It's Like"). I believe this song is about not dwelling on the past and living for today and doing the best a person can do at the time.
4. "Broken" - "Broken" is a slower love song, also from the "White Trash Beautiful" album. The song is about a man (Everlast) apologizing and begging his significant other to stay with them through hardships: "I'm down on my knees, praying you'll stick this out." The piano really helps bring a more lush, full sound to the track.
5. "Stone in My Hand" - The first of a few songs previously released on "Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford" starts out with a short little guitar intro before breaking into an uptempo acoustic chord progression. "Stone in My Hand," lyrically is about rebellion and standing up against oppression with whatever can be found.
6. "Weakness" - Another song from "The Ghost of Whitey Ford," "Weakness" is one of my favorites from this album and maybe one of my all time favorite Everlast songs. This song is lyrically similar to "Sad Girl." It's about the singer meeting and talking to a young woman who's been down on her luck.
7. "Children's Story" - Anyone familiar with the music of Slick Rick should recognize this tune. Everlast first pulled this cover out of his repertoire in 2000 on the "Eat at Whitey's" album. This upbeat, fun sounding song tells a sad story about a young boy coaxed into a life of crime. Along with the piano, this is the first song to have a second acoustic guitar playing behind Everlast.
8. "Stay" - "Stay" is another song from "The Ghost of Whitey Ford." This song, much like "Broken" is a slower tune, only this time Everlast sings of not being able to keep his lover at his side... "I could not make you stay."
9. "My Medicine" - "My Medicine" is a song that appeared on Snoop Dogg's 2008 album "Ego Trippin'." Everlast played guitar for Snoop on that track, and then did a full cover of it for "The Life Acoustic." It's a song about drugs, referring to the drugs as "medicine."
10. "Lonely Road" - "Lonely Road" is the third track on this album that originally appeared on "White Trash Beautiful." This is another favorite of mine. It starts out with a picked guitar riff and piano. I think this song is about being lonely while on tour, missing a loved one and hoping that they can be together again.
11. "Grandma's Hands" - This is the song written and recorded in 1971 by Bill Withers. For most of the song, only Everlast's acoustic guitar can really be heard, although there is a keyboard playing lightly in the background.
12. "Jump Around?" - You haven't misread, "The Life Acoustic" features a solo, acoustic rendition of House of Pain's "Jump Around." The evolution in Everlast's voice is very apparent in this tune. It's grown deeper and rougher in the 21 years since the original's release in 1992. After chuckling to himself while playing the intro, he raps it slower, strumming his guitar the entire time. This is the first and only time that drums are heard on the album.
All in all, this album sounds good. The lyrics are clear and easy to understand, however as I stated before, I wish the sound of the acoustic guitar had a bit more beef and didn't sound so thin. // 8
Lyrics: If one sentence could sum up Everlast's lyrics, I do believe that UFC commentator and stand-up comedian, Joe Rogan has said it: "Man, you paint with a dark brush..." Everlast has never written really happy-go-lucky sounding music, though he has said (during the same conversation with Joe Rogan) that he tries to add a hint of hope to his lyrics. Everlast tells stories in his songs, mostly about hardships and pain. His lyrics fit the music on this album like a glove, a lot of minor sounding guitar chords and somewhat depressing lyrics.
As a singer, as I pointed out earlier in the review, Everlast has a very distinct voice and delivery. He almost makes music that I would define as "acoustic blues-rap." Joe Rogan has also made a point in saying that there's no denying an Everlast song when a person hears one. His style is uniquely his and very distinguishable. // 10
Overall Impression: With such a unique style, this album can't really compare to anything else except others in Everlast's discography... Even then, he's refined his style more and more with every album. He's said that it took him a couple of albums just to find his (now signature) singing style, and that even on his breakthrough 1998 album, his singing "wasn't the greatest."
My favorite songs on "The Life Acoustic" would have to be "Lonely Road," "Broken" and "Weakness." I love the sound of Everlast's voice and his lyrical ability. Now that I think more about it, another small gripe I have against the album besides the thin sounding guitar would be the sound of the electronic keyboard in a couple of the songs (especially "Sad Girl"). Other than that, I really liked this album. If it weren't on my computer and somebody stole the CD, I'd fight them to get it back. // 9