This is a good move for Mays, giving us a different way to appreciate him. He's taken his entire album from 2017 ("Once Upon...") and remade it as an acoustic record. Best known for rocking out, Mays the singer-songwriter sometimes gets lost in the electricity. He'll never be mistaken for Leonard Cohen, but there's lots to appreciate in his plainspoken lyrics, much of it self-examining, and wise through experience.
This is pretty bare bones, although not just acoustic or demo-level. Mays is joined by Aaron Goldstein on pedal steel for a few cuts, Anthony Carone on piano for a couple more, and backing vocalists on most of them, plus hand-and-foot-made percussion. The songs, some of his career best, lose none of the tunefulness, and Mays has a compelling voice that draws us in for a closer listen. Now with the emphasis on the words, we can appreciate a track like Sentimental Sins more, trying to capture love's intensity he tells us "You gotta chase that teenage feeling back to how it used to be." Songs that sound like a party on the electric album are revealed as more conflicted, like Howl At The Night: "I’m at this party they’re all talking too much/I should be home with the wife and two kids in my clutches." The only thing wrong with this idea is that it will now be a struggle to decide which version to play.