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CD Review | Pop

Mike Viola, ‘Acousto de Perfecto’

Last year, critically acclaimed pop singer-songwriter Mike Viola released “Electro de Perfecto.” This acoustic “bookend” is the result of a solo tour the Bay State native undertook to support that album. While three songs — “Closet Cutter,” “El Mundo de Perfecto,” and “Soundtrack of My Summer” — are reprised from the first album in stripped-down format, “Acousto” is otherwise all new and stunningly beautiful. Recorded live and accompanied by just his guitar and two violas — yes, Viola performs with violas — he has created a song cycle of great intimacy and warmth. With his sweet husk of a voice, Viola explores everything from self-doubt (“Primary Care Giver”) to the meaning of love (“El Mundo de Perfecto”). Long a favorite in power-pop circles who has also drawn praise as a composer and performer for film and television (“That Thing You Do!,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”), Viola gives a shoutout to his shadow star status in the opener, “Secret Radio.” He sings of performing for a select group of fans. Lucky are those who tune into that special frequency. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “El Mundo de Perfecto”

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