Homecoming (SACD reissue)

America

Audio Fidelity/Warner Brothers, 2015

http://www.venturahighway.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/30/2015

Most people who know me know that I love anything loud and heavy, be it metal, punk or anything to that effect. But what surprises people is when I tell them I LOVE America and their easygoing lite rock. “A Horse With No Name” is one of the first songs I can remember falling on love with that wasn’t on MTV. When their second album was released in 1972, critics at the time said it was a lot of the same old thing that had been present on their debut – but not so fast!my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Recently reissued with super deluxe audio, the album is in need of rediscovery. Sure, everyone knows “Ventura Highway” and “Don’t Cross The River” because they were the album’s biggest hits. But there are a couple of deep cuts that deserve the same type of recognition.

One of America’s greatest strengths was the three part harmonies that the guys would use as background vocals. Not since the Beach Boys and the Mamas And The Papas had background vocals sounded so sweet. Dewey Bunnell’s beautiful “Moon Song” is an outstanding piece of work, beautiful harmonies and all. The great picking at the end of the song really does still sound amazing, even 40+ years later. The pristine audio on these releases really helps bring everything to the fore.

“Till The Sun Comes Up Again” is another great example where the superior sound quality really helps push the song to new heights, particularly during the middle where the guitars really sound like you’re right next to them. While certain songs like “Cornwall Blank” don’t work as well as they could, songs like this are overshadowed by amazing tracks like “Moon Song.” But this was a building album for them, one where they were still getting their feet wet before embarking on some of the biggest records of their career.

With the latest release, Audio Fidelity is really showing what they’re capable of with ‘70s easy listening. An interesting challenge for their next couple of releases would be to see what they can do with bands like Def Leppard or even Motorhead. All in all, this is another great release by a label who knows what they’re doing.

Rating: B

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© 2015 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Audio Fidelity/Warner Brothers, and is used for informational purposes only.