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America|Perspective

Perspective

America

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Like many soft rock and adult contemporary groups in the early '80s, America began to experiment with synthesizers and drum machines -- after all, this was a cheaper way of making records, especially compared to the '70s method of recruiting the most expensive studio musicians available. They had begun to experiment with synths on Your Move, but only slightly; the album still had several numbers that were more or less organic. With their final album, Perspective, the band adapted to the '80s style of production, relying almost entirely on synthesized arrangements and programmed reasons. This method of making records would eventually cripple adult contemporary, making it sound way too slick and soulless, but here, the synths were simple enough to sound organic and there were other instruments that allowed them to breathe, plus the natural harmonies of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. Plus, in retrospect, there was something charming about these early, stiff drum machines. All of this makes Perspective sound like a period piece, which it is. There were no hits from the album and the songs (while better on the whole than those on the lame Your Move) were all pretty slight, which leaves the actual sound and production as the main reason to recommend the album, especially since the group doesn't seem really committed to making a record. So, it's not a great America record and not a great way for them to end their career, but pop culture anthropologists looking for a synthesized soft rock artifact from '70s veterans losing their way in 1984, just as the genre was disappearing from the Top 40, should be intrigued by this endearingly mediocre effort.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Perspective

America

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1
We Got All Night
00:03:27

Terry Britten, Composer - America, MainArtist - Sue Shifrin, Composer - Richard Burgess, Producer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

2
See How The Love Goes
00:03:17

Richie Zito, Producer - Terry Britten, Composer - America, MainArtist - Sue Shifrin, Composer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

3
(Can't Fall Asleep To A) Lullabye
00:03:46

Dewey Bunnell, Composer - Stephen Perry, Composer - Bill Mumy, Composer - America, MainArtist - Matthew McCauley, Producer - Robert Haimer, Composer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

4
Special Girl
00:03:47

Richie Zito, Producer - David Tyson, Composer - Eddie Schwartz, Composer - America, MainArtist

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

5
5th Avenue
00:03:47

Gerry Beckley, Composer - America, MainArtist - Richard Burgess, Producer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

6
(It's Like You) Never Left At All
00:03:25

Randy Goodrum, Composer - America, MainArtist - Matthew McCauley, Producer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

7
Stereo
00:03:21

Jimmy Webb, Composer - America, MainArtist - Matthew McCauley, Producer - Gerald L. Beckley, Composer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

8
Lady With A Bluebird
00:03:07

Lee Bunnell, ComposerLyricist - Bill Mumy, ComposerLyricist - America, MainArtist - Matthew McCauley, Producer - Robert Haimer, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

9
Cinderella
00:03:57

Richie Zito, Producer - J. Kimball, Composer - America, MainArtist - D. Vidal, Composer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

10
Unconditional Love
00:03:07

Gerry Beckley, Composer - America, MainArtist - Matthew McCauley, Producer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

11
Fallin' Off The World
00:03:30

Dewey Bunnell, Composer - Bill Mumy, Composer - America, MainArtist - Matthew McCauley, Producer

(C) 1984 Capitol Records, LLC ℗ 1984 Capitol Records, LLC

Album Description

Like many soft rock and adult contemporary groups in the early '80s, America began to experiment with synthesizers and drum machines -- after all, this was a cheaper way of making records, especially compared to the '70s method of recruiting the most expensive studio musicians available. They had begun to experiment with synths on Your Move, but only slightly; the album still had several numbers that were more or less organic. With their final album, Perspective, the band adapted to the '80s style of production, relying almost entirely on synthesized arrangements and programmed reasons. This method of making records would eventually cripple adult contemporary, making it sound way too slick and soulless, but here, the synths were simple enough to sound organic and there were other instruments that allowed them to breathe, plus the natural harmonies of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell. Plus, in retrospect, there was something charming about these early, stiff drum machines. All of this makes Perspective sound like a period piece, which it is. There were no hits from the album and the songs (while better on the whole than those on the lame Your Move) were all pretty slight, which leaves the actual sound and production as the main reason to recommend the album, especially since the group doesn't seem really committed to making a record. So, it's not a great America record and not a great way for them to end their career, but pop culture anthropologists looking for a synthesized soft rock artifact from '70s veterans losing their way in 1984, just as the genre was disappearing from the Top 40, should be intrigued by this endearingly mediocre effort.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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