Acute

Arms Around A Stranger

[3/5] Make no mistake about it: Acute love to slather on the atmosphere and orchestration. And producer Dave Trumfio’s certainly no stranger to the more-is-more approach, having worked with texture-mad icons such as Grandaddy, Wilco and My Morning Jacket. But it rarely feels like texture for its own sake. And this Los Angeles trio do pull it back from the orchestra pit on the rockers, from the tuneful Zombies-esque piano pop of “Trouble” to “The City,” where Cars-flavored keyboards and chugging guitars were apparently just what they needed. But the band really work the Wall Of Sound on the ballads, bringing chamber strings, pedal steel, harpsichord, flute and a whistling solo to “Saint” and making the most of a moody cello on the melancholy “Rush To It,” where no one’s rushing anywhere. (HELP) Ed Masley