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AMERICA Struttin' Our Stuff Inak 5507SACD (2007)


Whichever way you look at this, it's either timely or opportunism. Although promoting their new album, it won't do America any harm to have this excellent SA-CD on the shelves when they come to the UK in March.

Sadly, perhaps, this isn't the original band - they fell out with Dan Peek three decades ago - but it's as near-as-dammit. And most of all, it's good to hear some of their classics again.

This is essentially a Greatest Hits run-through with tracks from all stages of their career. 'Ventura Highway', 'Tin Man', 'Lonely People', 'Daisy Jane', 'Sandman' and of course 'A Horse With No Name' are included.

But the less familiar tracks are worthy of attention as well, such as 'From A Moving Train' (from 1975's 'Hearts') and 'Riverside' and 'Three Roses' (from their 1972 debut), the latter reminds me a little of George Harrison's 'My Sweet Lord'. And there's the title track that featured in the Disney pic, the attractive 'Last Unicorn'.

From 1982, 'You Can Do Magic' sounds as good as it ever did. I can remember this was constantly played by Tony Blackburn on BBC Radio 1 at the time.

Naturally, the band were promoting their latest album 'Human Nature' and from that there are several tracks including the excellent 'Wednesday Morning', 'The Wheels Are Turning', 'Pages' and 'From A Moving Train'.

America occupy the acoustic soft rock high-ground, an appropriately titled band because the music has that USA AOR sheen. At times evoking the high balladry of Nilsson or the harmonies of The Eagles.

As to be expected with Inak releases, the sound quality is excellent, recorded in the Ohne Filter studios in Germany in 1999. For completists, the CD includes two more tracks than the accompanying DVD.

This all bodes well for their UK tour in March and may even encourage listeners to investigate their very fine back catalogue. And, judging by this CD, starting with 'Human Nature'.


Review by David Randall

DVD review


Wednesday Morning
© 2007 Inak/Wienerworld. All rights reserved.

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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