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Alligator Lizards in the Air

America – Here & Now

America released their first album since 1984 more than a year ago, and I’m kicking myself for taking so long to pick it up. The band made a very deliberate effort to reconnect with the youth this time around, including having that Japanese guy from Smashing Pumpkins and bassist of Fountains of Wayne produce the album and featuring many guest musicians, including Jim James and Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket. This really paid off, as the album does have a distinctly youthful sound, not at all what you would expect. The tracks tap into what made America songs hits, but doesn’t feel like a retread of older material. There are even a couple choice covers. It’s pretty fresh and nice to listen, it kind of reminded me of Sean Lennon’s last album from time to time. But if it’s the old America you want, they’ve got you covered as well. The second disc contains live performances of every song on History: America’s Greatest Hits, which is pretty generous of the band to include. But if you’re like me, it’s the new tracks that your going to be coming back to again and again. Overall, Here & Now is great choice for America fans both young and old and a worthy member of any music library. It gives you some great new material and all the old hits in case you don’t have any America CDs. And $9.99 for all 25 tracks on iTunes is a pretty good bargain.


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