Uncut - p.714 stars out of 5
-- "[A] hip comeback....'Golden' is transformed into a Jimmy Webb-style reverie."
No Depression - p.90
"This is lush, layered stuff, the type that has long since gone out of style but never stopped sounding good."
America: Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley.
Personnel: Dewey Bunnell (vocals, whistling, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, snare drum, background vocals); Gerry Beckley (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, background vocals); Michael Woods (vocals, guitar, piano); Rich Campbell (vocals); James Iha (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, E-bow, glockenspiel, wind chime, background vocals); Matthew Caws (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Mark Rozzo, Jim James (acoustic guitar); Ryan Adams (electric guitar); Rusty Young (slide guitar, dobro, mandolin); Ben Kweller (harmonica, piano, Wurlitzer organ); Ronnie Buttacavoli (flugelhorn); Willie Leacox (drums, congas); Ira Elliot, Brian Young (drums, percussion); Patrick Hallahan, Russ Kunkel (drums).
Additional personnel: James Iha, Adam Schlesinger, Ryan Adams, Ben Kweller.
Recording information: Human Nature Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA (10/23/2005-??/??/2006); STratosphere Sound, New York, NY (10/23/2005-??/??/2006); XM Studios (10/23/2005-??/??/2006).
Photographer: Henry Diltz.
America was an FM-radio soft-rock staple all through the 1970s, and their bright, mellow, readily accessible music remained popular in the decades that followed. In 2007 they released HERE & NOW, a comeback effort that bears a striking resemblance to albums from the band's 1970s heyday. The warm, clean production, layered harmonies, and smartly penned melodies fit right alongside the best tracks from HOMECOMING or the band's self-titled debut.
America could never be considered hip or "alternative," so it's ironic that HERE & NOW features appearances by Ryan Adams and Ben Kweller, and is produced by Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha and Fountains of Wayne frontman Adam Schlesinger. Yet there's no attempt to modernize or transform America's classic sound: the album still plays like a breezy California summer's day circa 1972. A bonus disc, featuring live versions of the band's best-known tunes, makes the nostalgic trip complete.