The Beautiful Game was the tenth full-length album by Acoustic Alchemy, and marked a turning point in the career of guitarist Greg Carmichael.
This album was the first without founding member Nick Webb, who had died two years previously due to pancreatic cancer; duties on steel string guitar were now filled by understudy Miles Gilderdale, who remains in the post to this day.
The album came as a stark change to fans of the group. Glossy production and radically different songwriting brought about a new 21st century sound, completely adverse to the style built up over a decade and a half up until this point.
Experimentation was certainly a prominent factor in "The Beautiful Game". Tracks like "The Last Flamenco" brought drum and bass style synthesised loops, whilst "Kidstuff" employed a repeated sample of a baby giggling.
One of the band's longer efforts, the album lasts over an hour including two bonus tracks, featuring Greg Carmichael and John Parsons re-recording two of the tracks with a country and western style backing.