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Showing posts from February, 2007

137. America - Here & Now (2007)

Raise your hand if you've seen Time Life's 30 minute infomercial for their Classic Soft Rock collection, hosted by the guys who were in Air Supply.

I was mesmerized when I saw it one night, mostly because of great songs by the likes of Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren, Little River Band, England Dan & John Ford Cooley, Player and, of course, America. I started to think about how it has become cool to like what it wasn't cool to like at the time.

Take America's new album, Here & Now, as an example. The record was produced by two guys with plenty of hipster cred: James Iha (he of Smashing Pumpkins fame, with a soft rock solo album to his name) and Adam Schlesinger (he of Fountains Of Wayne fame, a band unafraid to pilfer the '70s). What's odd is how they haven't updated Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell's songwriting or sound at all, and yet the album still sounds so very modern.

What's up with that? Well, believe it or not, soft rock is still a…