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Smith & Myers craft immaculate originals and compelling covers on Volume 1 & Volume 2

Half of Shinedown go acoustic on Smith & Myers' Volume 1 & Volume 2

Smith & Myers: Volume 1 & Volume 2
(Image: © Atlantic Records)

Acoustic projects are a dime a dozen, but not many display the level of instantly accessible talent showcased on these two volumes by Zach Myers and Brent Smith, one half of Shinedown

It’s the no-brainer follow-up project to 2014’s two Acoustic Sessions EPs, and each volume comprises five originals and five fan-approved covers.

Volume 1 is possibly the stronger of the two, leading with Not Mad Enough – a compelling protest song written after the death of George Floyd – and Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World, the tone intense and sombre. 

Their original tunes focusing on both personal and social issues are, unsurprisingly, immaculately crafted, while the other covers range from the eclectic (Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy) to the classic (Unchained Melody), and it all meshes together seamlessly as the duo wring every last ounce of emotion out of the material. Textbook, as they say.