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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genious, 20 Nov 2000
By 
malph@btinternet.com (East Midlands - England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
Seeing Eitzel live, you appreciate just how pain, regret and melancholy can sound so real and in Mercury with the aforementioned singers now defunct band, a roller coaster ride of goose bump down the back true feeling is assured. The album (almost harsh at times with the title track loud with a backdrop of big music bass and guitar rift) really excells with the more reflective hurt of 'I've been a mess' and the albums pinnacle 'Apology for an accident'. Eitzels voice displays such emotion, it's hard not to want to give the guy a big hug and assure him everything will be alright. Unfortunately that might sound somewhat ridiculous as poor solo album sales (even the help of REM's Peter Buck couldn't deliver commercial success on the solo 'West' album) have left Eitzel without a current deal all of which has coincided with the death of the long time inspiration who fuelled much of his unrequited lyrics. Mercury remains a belter of an album which would grace the record collection of music lovers everywhere with iron in their soul.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Almost There..., 4 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
When people talk about Mark Eitzel, AMC frontman and now solo artist, it's not long before they're talking about either the words or the voice. Here, both are showcased to the absolute max as the album staggers punch drunk from tale to tale. Gratitude Walks sets the tone for the whole collection as Eitzel turns himself inside out searching for the answers to his predicament. I've Been A Mess has to be another highlight, with the band's twisted take on the rising of Lazarus as a metaphor for that love that left but continues to torture the mind. Apology For An Accident is another fine storyline, the music ebbing and flowing with the sentiment but always remaining distinctly "late night". A token epic amongst the subdued fables of love lost comes Johnny Mathis' Feet, the black humour of Eitzel asking the Vegas showman for life saving advice and finding himself pitied and sympathised with in equal measure. It's an album that needs listening to and a classic "grower" but somehow when the quality of songs is as high as these, it's an altogether richer and more satisfying experience for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary, 13 Aug 2007
By 
F. D. Pastore "indie boy" (The cultural backwater of Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
This was supposed the be the album that made AMC huge - the next REM. They had earnt themselves a major label deal with a big production budget and hot shot producer to boot but somehow it just didn't happen. This is probably the strongest set of songs Eitzel ever came up with and the band play a blinder. It's very uncompromising tho - not in the least bit commercial. Froom's atmospheric production doesn't help. 'If I Had A Hammer' was originally going to be a single until the label heard the finished article. Halfway through the music drops out to be replaced by an out of tune fairground sample which then leads into a wobbly guitar part. Don't get me wrong - I love it - it's just not REM... If AMC have a famous song it's probably 'Johnny Mathis' Feet'. Neil Hannon - whose a big Eitzel fan - used to play this live for a bit. It's classic Eitzel "Johnny looked at my songs and said 'Well at first guess, never in my life, have I ever seen such a mess'". Eitzel's voice soars throughout. The lyrics are heartbreaking, poetic. Anyone whose ever been in love should listen to 'I've Been A Mess' - "I can barely tell you just how pale I get without you. I've been a mess since you've been gone." Vudi plays lead guitar like only Vudi can - fractured soundscapes - beautiful in places, like twisted shards of metal in others.

AMC never made it big. They ended up splitting up and Eitzel produced some good solo lps. They've recently reformed. Yay! If you ever get a chance to see Eitzel or AMC live don't pass it up. Legends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Hopes and Dreams, 24 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
When Mark Eitzel and co finally started to get some plaudits (for 1991's Everclear), a major label deal and a relatively large recording budget, they reacted in the only way they knew how. They made enlisted producer Mitchell Froom to make a somewhat difficult album which bore little resemblance in sound to their previous output!

I prefer to call it a subtle album. Those who fell in love with pedal steel guitar player Bruce Kaphan's contributions to Everclear would be disappointed here, as he is limited to minimal embellishments here and there.

Gratitude Walks is a classic Eitzel song, opening with piano and some steel guitar, before Eitzel croons lyrical gems like "chains on the oasis that leads a man to drink, drunk on the kind of applause that gets louder the lower you sink." It's a classic alcoholic insight that needs no explanation. If I Had A Hammer is probably one of the more conventional songs here, again leading off with piano and same great guitar touches. It's all going along quite nicely till they throw in a weird bleepy bit in the middle, before Eitzel continues on the theme of the last song, singing "I don't know if I've reached the bottom yet... I feel time pass like a joy I tried so hard to relearn, but somewhere along the line I passed the point of no return."

Challenger is a total change of pace, with Vudi's raging, murky guitars before we're back in familiar territory with I've Been A Mess. This song is almost self-parody with Eitzel self-flagellating ("I've been a mess since you've been gone") over prominent steel guitar. One of my kids said to me once that it sounds just like me singing on guitar!

Most of the rest of songs are reasonably subtle, albeit many of them with lengthy titles (What Godzilla Said to God When His Name Wasn't Found In The Book Of Life, The Hopes and Dreams of Heaven's 10,000 Whores), which often bear little relation to the songs themselves. Self-sabotage? If so it's a thoroughly enjoyable one.

The album is also notable for the presence of Johnny Mathis' Feet, which is to non-AMC fans, probably the song they are best remembered for. It's a classic contradiction that it is in fact a fairly atypical song for them, musically at least. It's pretty much a big ballad, with Eitzel bellowing out a tale of comparing his songs unfavourably with Johnny Mathis, over a big `kitchen sink' style production number which throws in strings, steel guitar and dramatic crescendos.

One of the stranger tracks is the second last one, More Hopes and Dreams, which is a bit of self-indulgence from the band where they recorded sounds from an electrical power station which sounded perfect for the album! The final track, Will You Find Me, is an AMC acoustic-based closer in the vein of Last Harbour from California. It's downright lovely, with a fragile acoustic guitar riff, sensitive vocals from Eitzel sounding almost at breaking point, and some keyboards which work really well. The middle section with an acoustic guitar solo backed by unconventional guitar work from Kaphan demands to be heard. It's almost impossibly beautiful, and gives the lie to those who dismiss steel guitar as clichéd country nonsense.

Predictably this sort of stuff did not sell in grunge-era 1993, and from then on American Music Club were doomed to obscurity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what can one say..., 25 Dec 2012
By 
robert (ACCRINGTON, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
well it's amc. only thing you can expect is great music. some of eitzels best songs on here. apology for an accident is heartbreakingly beautiful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best AMC?, 1 July 2011
By 
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This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
Devastating! What songwriters! Clever arrangements, ingenious lyrics - 'you were a scarecrow looking for a bonfire to sleep on' - I love the band, I worship Mark Eitzel and his trawling of his last vestiges of dignity and sorrow and I love all the passion and tension he dregs from his soul to make it all work. His solo work is brilliant and this band is brilliant and if you dig this album you will find it hard to better. The man is my Jesus.
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Mercury
Mercury by American Music Club (Audio CD - 1993)
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