Tuesday, February 06, 2007

America: Here & Now?

One of my guiltiest pleasures on a hot summer day in Los Angeles is to roll the windows down in the car and crank "Sister Golden Hair" and "Ventura Highway" by 70's soft rock icons "America." The twang of the guitars and the harmonies of the vocals, combined with the wind blowing in my hair, take me back to my childhood every time.

Well, it's as if my childhood has returned to the "Here & Now," as America has released an cd of new material with the help of some new friends. The album definitely has a vintage "America" feel yet doesn't seem old at the same time. Most of that can be credited to producers Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, who helmed the sound of the record. They made no attempt to alter the music to our times (like say Sting or Elton John would), instead they have brought Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell back to America's signature sound: harmonizing vocals and a soft acoustic vibe. Here is the promotional video on the making of the release. Enjoy.

Making guest appearances on the record are Ben Kweller and Ryan Adams, S
chlesinger and Iha. For your consideration, here are a couple of tracks from the album. "Ride On" features Kweller and Adams, and "Golden" is a wonderful cover of the My Morning Jacket tune and I believe features Jim James on guitar. Finally, from the bonus disc, enjoy a live version of "Sister Golden Hair."

For Your Consideration:
America - Ride On Mp3
America - Golden Mp3
America - Sister Golden Hair (Live) Mp3

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