Billing yourself as an artistic stand-out in the R&B world is a little bit like claiming to be the best dressed man in Saskatoon. Admittedly, Atlanta crooner India.Arie arrives without the gaudy gloss of every other R&B howler, but that's the point here. Produced by Kedar Massenburg, the southern beat whiz who helped Erica Wright become Erykah Badu, Acoustic Soul is a decidedly anti-R&B R&B record. Sculpted beats are pushed to the back in favour of acoustic melodies and live arrangements. It's a nice change, but get beyond the high-drama shocker of India.Arie saying she doesn't shave her legs occasionally and you're left with a promising but ultimately bland record dominated by some solid singing, a lot of New Age mumbling and risk-free playing by a band of anonymous studio musicians.