America | Lost & Found

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Lost & Found

by America

"Lost & Found” is a rare and previously unreleased collection of songs by perennial classic-rock favorite, America. Featuring original compositions, that have been recorded over the past 15+ years, and now have been mastered for your listening pleasure.
Genre: Moods:
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Driving
3:43 $0.99
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2. All in All
4:17 $0.99
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3. One Horse Town
4:28 $0.99
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4. The Quiet Inside
3:22 $0.99
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5. Many Colors
3:24 $0.99
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6. Dream Come True
4:18 $0.99
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7. Don't Let Her Close Your Eyes
4:46 $0.99
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8. Out On the Street
2:58 $0.99
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9. Green
4:44 $0.99
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10. Early Days
3:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


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Mo

Well Done, Gents
America, the band that I have loved since I was sixteen years old, has released a new album, Lost & Found. [Insert fist pump and a woop, woop here.] The album’s concept is new for America. Tasked with archiving the tapes from Human Nature Studios in Sherman Oaks, California, Jeff Larson found previously unreleased material recorded between 2000 and 2011 that was well suited for an album. The resulting collection of songs is classic America and is easily enjoyed from the first spin. For added value, there are two rarities included here as well: an America dance track (Driving) and an America blues tune (Dream Come True). Have you straightened up in your chair, yet? You should.
These guys, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, have made music together for over 45 years. Their words spoke directly to me as a teenager and they still do today as I ponder my gray-tinged reflection. Although their songs follow familiar themes of life/love challenges (the Gerry songs) or environmentally infused word pictures (the Dewey songs) as they have for so many years, the messages have matured, as they should. The sixteen year old Gerry wrote about needing someone like the flower needs the rain. This Gerry writes, “How many times have you heard it said before? I love you. But, I’m not in love with you.” Without a doubt, herein lies evidence of life’s lessons learned.
The vocals are pristine in both the lead and harmony parts, (Out On The Street and Many Colors, especially). The arrangements are equally impressive. Let’s face it, these guys learned to produce an album under the tutelage of Sir George Martin who produced seven albums for America (in between producing for another famous band or two—The Beatles and The Police). It seems America may have picked up a few hints along the way. As an example, One Horse Town is exceptionally well-crafted. It starts as simply piano, then acoustic guitar is added, followed by the addition of a horn--perhaps a French horn or a flugelhorn. Finally, the song builds to a very strong finish with an electric guitar solo and possibly a gong in there as well.
One of the highlights for me is Driving, which opens the album. If clues are taken from the tempo of the song, you’d expect uplifting lyrics. But, as is often the case with Beckley-penned songs, the upbeat belies a melancholic, introspective message. That aside, the tune starts with a catchy drum intro and is immediately infectious. You’ll be singing or whistling it in no time. Seriously. Also worthy of note, this track sports elements of surf music—the raw drum style as well as the guitar choices. The recurring lyric, “…driving over to a brand new day…” changes in the last instance to, “…driving ‘cross the USA.” Is this a nod to Surfin’ USA? The Beach Boys are an admitted influence of Beckley’s, not to mention personal friends who have shared the stage with him many times. You may want to consider this possibility while knowing, it’s not my only mad theory.
Currently—as it will undoubtedly fluctuate—my second favorite song is Dream Come True. This is the only song on the album that both the music and the lyrics are by Bunnell. It’s kick ass. This is an irreverent, fun, ballsy, bluesy tune that will make you snicker, bob your head, and snap your fingers all at once. Like the rest of the album, this song has not been released before, however it has been performed live at times since at least 2009. It’s currently back in the live show, that is something I’m really looking forward to seeing again.
There are at least three singles for radio release here, if such a thing still existed. Dream Come True would have done well in most historically available formats. Even in today’s market, it might do well on the country broadcast stations, or on Sirius/XM’s channel, The Spectrum. Driving and Don’t Let Her Close Your Eyes would have been top ten candidates on the pop charts during the 70’s. With the breadth and depth (and disposable dollars) that our generation/demographic represents, it confounds me that new music of this genre, and related ones, goes mostly unnoticed. Silly. Perhaps riding the wave of releasing new material on vinyl would get this album noticed by a wider audience. (Hint, hint.) Hell, it couldn’t hurt.
Before moving away from Don’t Let Her Close Your Eyes, it merits further comment. This song is a sweet-sounding vocal with, again, an upbeat tempo. This time, however, Beckley backs that with clever, almost happy lyrics about foolishly rushing into love. Several of America’s songs have been used in film, television, and video games. This song would make a great theme song for a romantic comedy for TV or film. Perhaps Beckley could star…imagine him wondering aimlessly around NYC a la Mary Tyler Moore, throwing his cap into the air looking distracted and captivated all at once. Hmm. Hard to imagine, perhaps, but fun all the same.
Bunnell provides the lead vocal on both All In All and The Quiet Inside. His voice is silky smooth, having retained its resonance very well throughout his career. Both songs are signature America. Of the two, I prefer The Quiet Inside, especially for its acoustic guitar finger-picking which brings to mind Riverside, their first song on their first album. All In All, on the other hand, too closely echoes some previous works of themselves and others. Although I may be in the minority here, this song is the underachiever of the set for me.
Many Colors and Green share Beckley’s vocal as well as, obviously, a theme. There are literal references to green, black, and blue, but also a figurative reference to the gray, nebulous nature of truth and love for that matter. I like both songs. Green has a great beat and resides well on an America record. Many Colors, on the other hand, with its Andreas Vollenweider-esque interlude is somewhat misplaced here and would do better on a Beckley solo release which is always a more ethereal exercise. Having said that, in case that’s not likely to happen soon, I’m happy it was included here.
Finally, we have Early Days bringing us to the close. This is an endearing little ditty about the guys as they formed the band and worked through their careers together. It’s an almost danceable shuffle featuring a banjo and horns. Their first hit, Horse With No Name was also a shuffle. Coincidence? I say nay. Are these the bookends of their career?
To further deepen this theory into an almost ‘Paul Is Dead’ leveI of madness, consider this. I read recently that Lost & Found is America’s 29th release . That’s difficult to verify depending on whether you’re counting imports and compilations or the ever infamous, Struttin’ Our Stuff, for instance. Twenty-nine is a fairly significant number to Beckley, although the explanation of that is somewhat unknown. If this IS the 29th America album, is it then the last?? It’s a great album, either way. But just in case it’s the last, savor it. Mwoohahaha!
Lost & Found is available via Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes.
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Jay

Like a comfy pair of shoes.....
I know the world is drifting away from physical releases, but I am old school. I am so grateful that CDBaby offered these amazing lost treasures on a CD. As for the band, I have no idea where these songs have been hiding or why but all I can say is WOW! America is timeless and as vital today as ever. Real music played by real musicians will always prevail.
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