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Love Songs for Patriots

9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 12, 2004
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

After a 10-year hiatus, American Music Club is back together!! They've recently completed work on a new album, Love Songs For Patriots, which will be released on Merge Records in October 2004. The band tracked the new songs in San Francisco at Closer Recording Studios and mixed the record at The Echo Lab in Denton, TX with Matt Pence (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel).


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B0002ZYDMO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,857 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wasichu on October 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After American Music Club split up around ten years ago, Mark Eitzel, while making many lovely albums, never sounded very optimistic in interviews about putting his old band together again. A sad fact that one of the best bands of the mid-80s to the mid-90s, with one of the most consistently brilliant outputs, could only gather heaps of critical praise while never diminishing their heaps of unsold albums. Luckily the boys, although without their wonderful pedal steel player Bruce Kaphlan, have decided to try again with a new piano player. How to describe the new album? Well, comparing this album to their old albums does not work very well. Instrumentally it has the most similarities with Restless Stranger or Engine although has neither the awful 80s new wave sound of the former or the minor key brashness of the latter. Gladly, they have produced something with a familiar uniqueness. I welcome any output from AMC; however, their product from 2004 with many fine songs lacks the same homogenous consistency of gorgeousness as Engine or Mercury.

When first hearing that the Bayside boys had a new album in the making and that I could sample the first two songs on the album, _Ladies and Gentlemen_ and _Another Morning_, off their website I faced the prospect with slight trepidation. I love AMC but matching their previous output proves a great challenge. So, I sucked up the fear and listened to the songs. Much to my surprise those two songs make up some of the highlights of the album. The first, a jazz flavored song instructing people to getting rid of their hate, has a nice defeated optimism about it along with a 60 Watt Silver Lining-ish feel, except with a quicker tempo.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on February 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
On Love Songs for Patriots, American Music Club's mood is as dark as ever, but infused with the hope of redemption. Filled with yearning and distorted dreams delivered in the most beautifully poetic lyrics, the first three tracks Ladies and Gentleman, Another Morning and Patriot's Heart set the lugubrious but defiant tone for this masterpiece.

The drinking song Ladies and Gentleman is achingly moving in its juxtaposition of the pain of living with either truth or with lies. Patriot's Heart, about a male stripper, is a masterpiece of conflicting emotions, cynicism blended with compassion and understanding. Wow, this approach is something else, so unique and stirring.

There are also gentle and tender moments like Another Morning, an inspiring song about shaking off bitterness and depression, framed in a lovely melody and pop orchestration. Another highlight, and one with a sprinkling of humour, is the gentle ballad Myopic Books. The delicate track Love Is reminds me of their gem of a song Firefly from an earlier album, whilst Only Love Can Set You Free is an appealing love song.

The last two tracks, Song of the Rats Leaving the Sinking Ship and The Devil Needs You, are quite ambiguous and may be interpreted on both a personal and universal level. The latter is over 7 minutes long and combines a powerful drum pattern with delirious keyboards and horns to conclude the album on a high note.

As with the rest of their oeuvre, Love Songs For Patriots is not easy listening for everybody, but if you love the kind of redemptive sadness often found in the work of artists like Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, Peter Murphy, Swans, Michael Gira's Angels Of Light, Nick Cave, Emmylou Harris or Jane Siberry, you will love this welcome return by American Music Club.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Darkrazor on October 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It's slightly difficult. Mark Eitzel's run-on, rhymeless, occasionally semi-monotone vocal style and Vudi, with his drifting, non-top-40 structured guitars, can always be a challenge at first listen. But, wow, the lyrics and underlying melodies here are stronger than ever, and the production amazes throughout, with the essential mood of each song reflected and reinforced in the backing musical textures. Eitzel's dramatic voice, intelligence, insight and humor explode and enchant, reach into your heart and calm or move you, or smack you with passionate sarcasm to a sincere grin. It's truly incredible that, after 10 years, the band can mount a comeback with what I think is their best album ever. It's one of those rare releases you want to play again and again because you want to rediscover each song and take in "the whole" as a work of art each time. Absolutely no top 40 hits here. Zero. But not one bad song. It's a stunning painting or a complex and stirring novel to the ears.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By happyapple on October 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was really hoping this album would completely blow me away. But by AMC standards, it's bordering on mediocre. I have problems with the songwriting and the overall production of the album. First off, the songwriting: Eitzel needs to stop recycling lyrics and lyrical ideas. Also, it'd be nice if he could come up with a different fingerpicking pattern; he's been using the same one for twenty years now. Overall, these songs sound underdeveloped. Compared to other AMC work, they're like rough demos. Each song has great potential, but they just sit on simmer and never reach a boil. The one exception that immediately comes to mind is "Ladies and Gentlemen". This song is exciting and has the life you'd expect from Eitzel and company. "Patriot's Heart" is the one song I consistently skip over. It's easily twice as long as it should be; the music just repeats itself over and over and over. Tchad Blake or Joe Chicarelli (previous AMC producers) would have never let this slip by, which brings me to my next point. AMC should not be allowed to produce themselves. They're the only band I say this about, but they are truly a band that needs a good producer to bring out their brilliance, in addition to good recording and mix engineers. The arrangements and ideas on "Love Songs" are quite interesting at times, but they just don't completely work. For instance, the band is trying for swirling dissonant chaos on a few songs, but it just comes out as cluttered mud, due to Tim Mooney's mediocre recording and mixing skills. And Eitzel's voice needs to be deep and full, like on "San Francisco", but it just sounds dull on "Love Songs". Also, I was hoping his vocals would be as good as they were on his last release, "The Ugly American".Read more ›
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