America: Hideaway a jpoc music review
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jpoc rating
Four out of ten.

Not their best.

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the jpoc review
Recorded in Feb 1976 this is the band's seventh album and the last but one to feature Dan Peek who left the band the following year. The music is pretty well what America fans would expect. Short mostly guitar centred pop-rock songs with lots of singing in harmony. On top of that, producer George Martin has added a dose of strings, horns and the like.

Whether or not this adds to the music is questionable. The raw edginess of the early music is gone and the extra interest and texture from the assorted additions do not always add enough to make up for that.

The four songs written by Gerry Beckley suffer the most from this though his "She's a Liar" does come through with enough punch to remind that he can write distinctive songs. By contrast, the three songs by Dewey Bunnell sound much better. They sound more like America grown up than America blunted.

Dan Peek's contribution is generally good though "She's Beside You" could have come from any anonymous bubble gum pop band of the time.

The remaining two tracks are parts one and two of "Hideaway", an instrumental by Bunnell. They sound like the theme music to a TV drama series. Bland so that you will not find yourself humming them but catchy enough that you will recognise them once you have seen a few episodes.

All in all, this is not their finest hour. America do not need so many distractions from their voices and simple guitar styles and they are, on the whole, better without them.