America Album: “Silent Letter”

America Album: “Silent Letter”
Album Information :
Title: Silent Letter
Release Date:1998-08-04
Genre:Soft Pop, Classic Rock, Mainstream Rock
Label:One Way
Explicit Lyrics:No
Customers Rating :
Average (3.5) :(14 votes)
4 votes
3 votes
4 votes
2 votes
1 votes
Track Listing :
Michael Butts (Berkeley Springs, WV USA) - June 19, 2011
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Let's ponder this bit of musical trivia: When this trio of three Army brats stationed in England rode A HORSE WITH NO NAME into instant 70s stardom, they started a string of successful albums whose titles started wit the letter H. After their self-titled debut album of course: HAT TRICK, HOMECOMING, HOLIDAY, HEARTS, HARBOR, HIDEAWAY and HISTORY. After that, their star dimmed, they became a duo and never reclaimed their hit status. Ironically or coincidentally, with the exception of the overlooked HOURGLASS and their delightful HARMONY Christmas album, they abandoned the H titles...hmmmm.

But I digress. SILENT LETTER finds Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley gamely continuing their offbeat lyrics and folk-tinged pop, occasionally branching into a harder edge as in ONLY GAME IN TOWN and AT NIGHT. Their lyrics have always had strange concepts. Though admittedely infectious and catchy, how can one decipher the meaning behind HORSE WITH NO NAME, MUSKRAT LOVE (although they didn't pen this one), SISTER GOLDEN HAIR and TIN MAN's "Tropic of Sir Galahad?" But this only makes them more memorable.

Bunnell and Beckley have maintained their distinctive vocals; the harmonies are impeccable and their oft-time producer, George Martin (of early Beatles Fame) supports the duo with sharp arrangements.

SILENT LETTER may not stand as tall as the H days, but it's enjoyable as a companion piece.

"cardinals4ever" (KY, USA) - March 07, 2002
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
- All AMERICA fans should own SILENT LETTER

SILENT LETTER is easily the best late 70's AMERICA album.THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN leads off the album with one of AMERICA'S best rockers ever.In a "sane" world,ALL AROUND would have been a huge smash.I rank ALL AROUND as one of AMERICA's best songs ever.Gerry Beckley's 1960 is truly an amazing piece of songwriting,while Bunnell's AND FOREVER is smooth as silk.Other highlights are ALL MY LIFE and HIGH IN THE CITY.No AMERICA fan will be disappointed with SILENT LETTER.

Tnahpellee "Brendan" (Australia) - March 20, 2007
- Beckley and Bunnell holding on

So, this is the first album of the band to start with the letter 'S'? But title jokes aside, and despite those 'happy happy' faces on the front cover, things were a bit dark for the America boys. Dan Peek had left them and George Martin was about to leave (or be booted out, I suspect)

After scoring success with the folk-driven debut album, they slowly but surely changed into an art-rock-lite band that would deliver the less popular 'Hideaway' and particularly 'Harbor' which didn't have any "big hits". After all these dramas they try and get back to basics here; George Martin is still in the producers chair but there aren't any grandiose arrangements here, it's almost as if he was there through contract obligation or something. Sure, there's the occasional horn sections and some strings on '1960' - oh, I nearly forgot that gorgeous saxaphone on 'And forever'. Anyway the boys are going for a stripped down but slightly funk sound here, with the bass being very notable and not that many acoustic guitars.

Overall, the songwriting is not that strong. The highlights are 'Only game in town', with Dewey interpreting that cover very well, 'No fortune', but the real stand-out for me is the breezy 'And forever' - it's kind of folky disco, but whatever it is that's the real winner here, well, for me. 'Tall Treasures' tries to return to their outdoor mystique, and is one of the better songs here, but some heavy distorted guitars tend to undermine the aura of the song. Most of the other songs are just average. '1960' and 'One morning' feel like demos that aren't fully realised, and 'High in the city' tries to get the blood rushing with big trumpets and pounding drums, but fails. 'All night' is a really good song but the lyrics about mental torment make it hard to really 'enjoy'.

At this stage America was just 'holding on', trying to regain themselves, and the lyrics sometimes reflect this struggle, and the hope for the future. Unfortunately, since this time they have had limited success, except for the songs 'You can do magic' and 'Border Song'. Overall, 'Silent Letter' is a decent album deserving three stars.

Customer review - October 15, 1998
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

I've been a fan of America from the start. It was with great interest that I noticed One Way had just released four of America's albums from 1979-1984. I had missed this one when it came out and was eager to hear it. Silent Letter is interesting, but not one of America's better efforts. America appears to have been trying to change their sound (a big mistake). I'd vote "All Night" as their worst song ever! Buy this one only if you have to own every one of their albums.

luco "luco" (Panama) - February 07, 2005
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
- One of America s' best ever!!

This cd is not among AMERICA s' most popular albums. In fact, it was generaly ignored by fans and radio in general, but it contains among the best songs the band ever recorded. Beginning with the first one "The Only Game in Town" (a great rocker opening song, and following with "All around", "all my life" and "1960"), you have 4 songs that should have been singles and smash hits. Who is to blame? maybe the executive s' record company.... maybe it was the fans. Sometimes we use to forget about our old favorite artists thinkin that they already passed their prime. Well, this is not the case, as well as other later day America s' cds, especially ALIBY. AMERICA was a band with 3 great singer/song writers and still they create greate music. Check out Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley solo cds as well!

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