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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
I've been a fan of America since 1972 when I saw them supporting Family so yes I'm biased but please read on.
The beauty of this album is that although every song is a cover, they all have the America feel, vibe and sound. (see if you can spot the guitar riff from Sister Golden Hair) You know each track is America and if you hadn't heard them before wouldn't think they are covers. Vocals and instruments are all exceptional and the song choice is so clever.
The stand out songs for me:
Caroline -The beach boys classic, just sheer perfection in every way
Someday -I love the new radicals and this song but it's constantly in my head due to this version.
A road song- This sounds like it was written by America rather than being a Fountain of Wayne song.
America-My favourite Simon and Garfunkel song just made even better. The vocals are so beautiful-a great way to start the album.
Sailing to Philadelphia- Gerry and Dewey's different voices really bring the song to life.
Till I hear from you- The Gin Blossoms song that sounds so like it is just a typical great America song
Worth buying the album just for these 6 tracks alone!
Also goood were:
Time of the season
Crying in my sleep
However for me, Gerry and Dewey didn't 'Americanise' these 3 songs quite enough.
The remaining 2 songs are just songs that I personally don't like and would rather they had included different songs (I'd have loved Pete Yorn's Just Another-made for the guys and David Gray's Babylon or Lindisfarne's Lady Eleanor but what do I know)
Anyway a great song for any lover of quality music-Buy it now!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2011
They've earned it. America's latest album 'Back Pages' is a covers tribute, perhaps predictable in that so many other artists have taken this marketing route, but there is enough of the duo's distinctive sound stamped across known territory to make it a pleasant and pleasing stroll. Who wouldn't walk a familiar path enjoyed for so many years when this slight but safe detour is on offer?

The album begins eponymously with Simon and Garfunkel's 'America' and I like the neatness of the platitude. The distinctive voices of Buckley and Bunnell make it their own though the beautiful melody truly carries the song. Third track 'Woodstock' does, admittedly, evoke Matthews Southern Comfort more than their own sound, but with such a similarity that is a nuance for the most critical of ears. I was pleasantly surprised to hear their version of the New Radicals song 'Someday' - a song I have always enjoyed and which gets an appreciative version here. Perhaps because the song choice is so appealing in itself and my love of America so deep-rooted I am bound to be an instant fan.

The Jimmy Webb penned and Garfunkel beautification of the ballad 'Crying In My Sleep' is a little cloying as another version, but the Zombies' 'Time Of The Season', the eighth track, continues the melodic song selection and homage to pretty songwriting of the past. This marriage of America's harmonising with established hits is furthered with ninth track's covering of James Taylor's 'Something In The Way She Moves'.

The album ends on probably the stand-out cover, this time Bob Dylan's 'My Back Pages'. Solo piano chords lead into a heartfelt vocal harmonising of the familiar lines and meanings which is then continued with an accordion accompaniment. It's a simple but sweet version letting the words control rather than seeking to redefine its sound.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2011
Fantastic album and great interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Buffalo Springfield & Mark Knopfler!

Special Guest: Mark Knopfler, Jeff Foskett & Van Dyke Parks!

That you can listen to over and over again.

Great for cruising along in the car on a long journey!

Thank you, America!!!

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on 29 June 2014
Well when I bought this it was to compleat a collection. What a Pratt I was to think just another America release.

One can hear the music from their listening habits of others, and from this music Americas young musical influence is on display here.

While living in London as young kids, from the early sixty's till the chaos of the late times of that wonderful decade. Then moving back to the other side of the pond, comes the major sounds for this CD. Some of the tunes are a lot newer than ours, which just shows the length of their influences.
Tunes that would have been new to them are now, tunes that sound totally new to us all now.
Although some of the music is very close to the original artists interpretation, these are still very much worth many a listen, they still have a new feel that often relives and may even out do them.

Don't be like me and nearly miss out, it is well worth a dam good listen, and the arrangements, mix and production, are to die for.

If you are a fan, then this will give a good idea of some of the influence's that helped make the first five albums, to make them even more attractive. In fact I'm sure you will be returning to the back catalogue for yet another hearing. You can then go back to the age old question so "why do critics get things so wrong", as I'm sure you all know, they never had a good word for this band, this makes me happy as they are really the prats.
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on 28 March 2013
I'll admit that I've been a fan of America from their early days, and collected most of the albums on vinyl before getting them again on CD. Whilst they usually perform their own material, this time they've chosen to cover songs that are, in the most part, well known as performed by other artists. I presume this is indulgence on their part, but I'm happy to accept it when the result is as good as this. I knew around 70% of the songs, and they do them justice. In my view, "Someday We'' Know" is better than the original (performed by The New Radicals back in 98-ish, though it also appeared in the film A Walk To Remember, in 2002, sung by Mandy Moore). Both Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have distinctive voices, and each suits a style that compliments each other. Having seen them live back in the seventies, and again in 2007, they are one of the few acts that can reproduce live the recorded sound almost exactly. If you like America, get this album, but if you're a fan of the Beach Boys or the Eagles, you'll like this too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2011
What a fine collection of classic songs from days gone by!

This collection absolutely destroys the myth that its dangerous ground to bring out a covers album.

Dewey Bunnell has to get special mention as his vocal throughout is exceptional.

Across the pond efforts at UK classic songs is always a challenge but America's interpretation of The Zombies 'Time Of The Season' is wonderfully mood provoking. I'm sure Rod Argent would be giving a particular nod of approval for the effort.

They make the James Taylor (Something In The Way) and Paul Simon (America)classics as good as their own. Their feel for the tracks is as if they had been performing them for years.
That for me is some compliment to the group.

The whole CD is a wonderful and gentle trip through time and it saves its finest moment for the finale.

'Back Pages' is an awesome performance and one of my favourite musical experiences for years.

Wonderfully crafted in an America format with a beautiful arrangement and oh so fragile heartfelt vocals.

I'm certain if this version of the track got decent air-play it would become a global classic once again.

This is a great CD; every musical home would benefit from owning a copy.
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on 22 October 2011
This is a superb C.D. The production is excellent and the song selection clearly what they've wanted to record/sing for years! Jimmy Webb's 'Crying in my Sleep' is simply wonderful and so much better than the original, (which is admittedly a production disaster!)'Woodstock' and 'Sailin' to Philadelphia' are also so good despite my (your?) love of the originals. Fred Mollins as producer and the session men do a great job too.As to the various arguments about 'covers' these are sung with both pasion and an innate musicality which you'd expect I guess from Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. The C.D. hasn't been off my car C.D. player for months now! The slow version of 'My Back Pages' that closes the C.D. is inspired too, and has little to do with either The Byrds or I suspect Dylan's version of his own song. The piano/steel the C.D. guitar intro to 'Crying in my Sleep' is worth the price of this alone! Buy it!
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on 25 November 2011
Like other America fans I was concerned as to benefits of producing an album of covers. I need not have worried. The quality of all the songs here are enough to keep the soft rock stations in material for some time. Gerry and Dewey are masters of their art as any fan who has seen them live can testify. Add to this the numerous guests and quality musicians and you have an album which sticks to the CD player and demands repeat plays. The choice of songs is interesting spanning as they do 30 years which reinforces my view that more is certainly there to come from the America team. I could speak of highlights but the entire album is so listenable it would be unfair. I can only say get yourself a copy, poor yourself a glass of whatever and chill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2011
An excellent album to compliment the style and voices of America. these are one of my favourite bands so I am biased. Great to see live if you get the chance when they are promoting this latest album.
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on 15 March 2012
I really like this CD, in particular Dewey's vocals on Woodstock and Caroline no. Dewey's vocals have matured and mellowed over the years and this becomes obvious on this CD. Gerry is still good but sounds a little weaker by comparison; Gerry is usually my favourite. Gerry sings well on Something in the way she moves. All said and done I really like these guys and enjoy listening to their music. I wish they would come to England again for a concert as I have never seen them in concert before.
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