Following their second studio album For Now which resulted in three ARIA Music Award nominations and the 13th spot on the UK official album chart, the DMA’s are back after working with the iconic MTV Unplugged for album number three. MTV Unplugged has seen the likes of Nirvana, Oasis and R.E.M and the DMA’s MTV Unplugged session was recorded at Melbourne’s intimate Memo Music Hall last October. The album releases on 12 July.
The tracklist features 14 fan favourites from both the DMA’s previous albums For Now and Hills End that have been revamped and stripped back to a folk like acoustic rather than the anthemic, britpop style the Australian three-piece are known for.
Unfortunately, there was no new content written for the album but the fresh sound added to the songs allows the listener to connect further with passion in the lyrics and powerful instrumental breaks.
‘Lay Down’, ‘Step Up The Morphine’ and ‘Delete’ to name a few, have been reworked for the new album with a softer, reflective atmosphere to emphasise the acoustics of the live session. The vocals are much more natural, rustic and have a Gallagher-esque vibe as the band recently toured with Liam Gallager and the Kooks.
First on the tracklist and the first stand out track on the album, ‘Feels Like 37’ has been altered from a spiky rock number into a slow piano, violin and guitar melody that relates to the deep, meaningful lyrics: ‘cause all I want is gone away’. The album closes with an extended, eight minute version of ‘Do I Need You Now’. The song starts with a low- pitch synth alongside a soft, snare beat to comply with the poignancy behind the lyrics. The song ends with a chilling violin break, a new sound for the DMA’s that we hear repeatedly in some of their other MTV Unplugged tracks.
A statement song on the album is a cover of Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’. The cover swaps out the psychedelic pop vibes of the 90’s hit for a softer electric violin and raw vocals from Tommy O’Dell.
“… It will go down as one of their most iconic performances ever …” MTV
3 out of 5 stars.