EAC-FLAC Image with CUEs & LOG - 487 MB | Full Scans | MP3 CBR 320 Kbps - 164 MB
Pop Rock | 73:02 minutes | Label: BGO Records | Cat. # BGOCD 734
Digitally remastered two-fer featuring two albums from America, their first albums as a duo after the departure of Dan Peek. 1979's Silent Letter was the last that George Martin produced for them, while 1980's Alibi showed the b& edging towards a slick adult contemporary sound. 22 tracks total.
Silent Letter: In a way, Silent Letter was a new beginning for America. Although they were still produced & arranged by George Martin, they had signed with a new label, Capitol Records, & had decided to delve deeply into lush adult contemporary, which was a different beast than the folky Californian soft rock that made their reputation. The change in sound didn't result in new hits (ironically, the same year they released Silent Letter they scraped the charts with a cover of "California Dreamin'" that was not included on the record), but it did revitalize them, ever so slightly. There is a fair amount of filler scattered throughout Silent Letter, along with a couple of interestingly awkward & ambitious songs like the segmented closer "High in the City," but there are also several very fine soft rock numbers. As a matter of fact, the opening one-two punch of "Only Game in Town" & "All Around" (which has a killer chorus) makes the record sound like it will be excellent. It begins to drift a little bit after that, but it never strays too far; every time that the album seems to lose momentum, it regains it. The end result may be flawed, but in an enjoyable way. & compared to the records that preceded it & some of albums that followed it, Silent Letter certainly seems like a latter-day highlight for America.
Alibi: George Martin stopped working America as the '70s became the '80s. Truth be told, it probably wasn't that painful of a departure. The time had come to part ways with Martin -- not only had they spent a decade with the celebrity producer, they were moving toward a slick, radio-ready adult contemporary direction that was entirely too calculated for Martin. So, they split, & Sir George effectively went into retirement while America worked with Matthew McCauley & Fred Mollin for 1980's Alibi. Essentially, the album picks up where Silent Letter left off, meaning that it's a set of pleasant soft pop, but it's slicker & slighter than its predecessor. That's not to say that it's without moments; like its predecessor, Alibi opens strongly with a pair of winners ("Survival," "Might Be Your Love"), & there are moments (such as "You Could've Been the One" or "Right Back to Me," which has a nice, bouncy chorus) that deliver later in the album. Still, it me&ers fast & it me&ers far, even into such ridiculous territory as the faux hard rock (in the sense that the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane" is hard rock) of "Hangover," whose lyrics are at least worth a chuckle or two. Ultimately, Alibi suffers from not only its uneven material, but from the production, which is nowhere near as invitingly lush as Silent Letter. Nevertheless, McCauley & Mollin's production does sound exactly like MOR radio in 1980, & fans of that era may find this to be an enjoyable artifact, even with its flaws. Nevertheless, Alibi doesn't qualify as one of America's better latter-day efforts (even though it's certainly not one of their worst). They did this sound better on the subsequent View From the Ground."
01. Only Game In Town
02. All Around
03. Tall Treasures
05. & Forever
07. All Night
08. No Fortune
09. All My Life
10. One Morning
11. High In The City
13. Might Be Your Love
14. Catch That Train
15. You Could've Been The One
16. I Don't Believe In Miracles
17. I Do Believe In You
19. Right Back To Me
22. One In A Million
Tracks "1-10" is "Silent Letter" Album.
Tracks "11-22" is "Alibi" album.
Remastered in 2006 at Sound Performance by &rew Thompson.