Label: Bella Union Release date: 07/06/10 Link: Myspace A few years back, The Vandals composed a song entitled 'Canadian Or Christian', a paean to dull, generic alternative rock that lambasted the musical efforts of the Great White North. Since then, the likes of the Dears and Arcade Fire have released intelligent, ambitious albums that proved that not every Canadian act has to sound like Nickelback or their ilk. To this list, you can add Ottawan five piece The Acorn. Mirroring the wintry climate of their home city, The Acorn make lush, glacial alt-country that is, at times, simply beautiful. With that said, on the follow up to 2007’s critically-acclaimed Glory Hope Mountain, parts of the album see the band make a concerted effort to move out of the indie-folk ghetto, with a few tracks veering into heavier territory. 'I Made The Law' starts out sounding like early Crowded House, before unleashing an unexpected crash of guitar that carries the song forward. Not that this change isn’t effective, with the vibrant, uptempo 'Crossed Wires' a stand-out, driven on staccato drumming carrying a wave of harmonious vocals. In contrast, this is followed immediately by 'On The Line', which is simply gorgeous; stripped down to minimal percussion and guitars, singer Rolf Klausner croons a delicate ballad to a distant love, contactable only by phone. At little over two minutes long, it is a song that leaves the listener longing for more. 'Slippery When Wet' (sadly, not a Bon Jovi reference in sight) follows a similar vein, a gentle, pastoral ode to lost love, highlighted by Klausner’s yearning vocals. No Ghost, though not a difficult listen, is an album that may not fully hit home on the first listen. However, it will be a cold heart that won’t be won over by what is a simply fantastic record. My advice is to let yourself get submerged in it early and yield to one of the most rewarding, beautiful albums of the year. Photobucket