Album Review: Spencer Elliott – SE3

Virtuoso guitarist Spencer Elliott leaves it all out on the studio floor with his newest release, SE3. And even without lyrics, it’s clear Elliott lets his top-notch musicianship do all the talking.

Spencer Elliott at His Best on SE3

Spencer Elliott pilots a music lover’s dream with his latest release, S3. And unlike many musicians that rely on a massive wall of sound to carry their artistry, Elliott stands completely on his own, letting his acoustic fingerstyle genius do all the talking. Elliott lays down the gauntlet as soon as the opening notes of Torque ring out – and it’s a full-throttle, face to the floor listening experience right from the jump.

Simply put, Torque packs all the punch you could hope for in an album opener. And the track hits so hard and heavy that you easily forget Elliott and company are playing on acoustic instruments. Torque is the kind of shining example that reminds listeners that you don’t have to plug in to play heavy – and this album opener is a case study of just that.

Spencer Elliott Not Afraid to Dial it Back on SE3

With such a high-energy opener, the soothing sounds of Silver Maple can catch listeners off-guard. After the face-melter Torque is, Elliott shows that he’s just as comfortable playing hard and fast as he is transitioning into a dreamy ballad – and he absolutely pulls it off with this track.

In the simplest terms, Spencer Elliott knows how to arrange and execute beautiful music. No matter what tempo he plays in, there’s an ear for shimmering melodies that really come through in an impactful way. Meanwhile, even for listeners used to listening to music with lyrics, Elliott really does let his instruments do the talking – and as a listener, you’re never lacking on this record.

S3 is Musicianship at its Finest

No matter what field you’re in, there’s something to be said about watching a master at their craft do their work. In the case of Spencer Elliott, it’s listening to him at his absolute best on S3. Meanwhile, it’s clear he enlisted the help of equally capable masters of their craft on the other instruments to round out the band and help his vision come to fruition – and that’s exactly the result on this record.

S3 is a beautiful record from start to finish – and all 10 tracks have their own flair and flavor. Meanwhile, even if strictly acoustic albums aren’t your thing, it’s hard not to get lost in the soundscapes Elliott creates on S3 – and you’ll easily find yourself replaying this record and discovering new gems. S3 is in a class of its own, and you’d do yourself a disservice not hitting play on this stroke of genius.

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