Sounds like … the folk stylings of Paul Simon, Andrew Peterson, and Bebo Norman performed by the lead guitarist of The Normals and Caedmon's Call.

At a glance … Andrew Osenga's second EP of songs based on fan suggestions again demonstrates his knack for witty and meaningful songwriting, even if the instrumentation is intentionally sparse—and it's available for free!

Another year, another half dozen songs from woefully underrated singer/songwriter Andrew Osenga (once the lead singer of The Normals, now lead guitarist for Caedmon's Call). If you missed out on the firstLetters to the Editor EP … well, what's your excuse? It's free to download, as is this one, though donations are most welcome.

The idea is simple, the execution masterful. Fans submitted ideas via Osenga's website—a subject, a lyric, even a photo—then he crafted songs around them. In the process, he abides by a few basic recording rules. Whereas the previous EP was all acoustic, Letters to the Editor, Volume II features one electric guitar, amp, and pedal per song, though overdubs are allowed. He does allow some guests in a couple of instances: wife Alison duets with him for one song and fans contributed their own vocals/instruments via the Internet as part of the background to "Let Us Know You."

Yes, the arrangements are minimalist, but Osenga makes the most out of his self-imposed limitations. He also maintains quality standards by recording at Jars of Clay's studio. But oh what songwriting! He's both clever and concise in his storytelling and imagery, often tapping into spiritual truths. The fact that he demonstrates all this in response to fan suggestions only makes it more impressive.

"Secret Country" is a sweet little ...

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