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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amongst the best of Curtis's brilliant career, haunting, moody, almost sad, February 21, 2009
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This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
An album that always gets admiration when played.
This album sort of works as a song cycle. There is a unifying beauty to the arrangements and flow from one song to the next.
On one road trip this was the only cassette that we had to play, and we played it repeatedly never getting tired.

Granted, I worship Curtis Mayfield. He is one of the greatest lyricists of any musical style. His music is consistently mind-blowing.

That said, "No Place..." actually outshines much of his other work because of its unifying simple, stripped down, almost hauntingly beautiful feel. This is a great example of how to use horns.

If you like soul music, songwriters, or mellow music, you will not be sorry if you locate this. It excels in each of those areas. Also the cover art is amazing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic, March 5, 2010
This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
You can go on sugar kicks, peanut butter kicks. You can go on alcohol kicks, sex kicks, spending kicks, and as mom always said, too much of a good thing is never a good thing.

Right now, I am on a Curtis Mayfield kick, and I gotta tell you, I don't see much downside. And if there is, don't tell me, because I am having toooo much fun.

And just as I was getting further into the string drive funk of Curtis and Superfly, dumb enough to think I had an artist of the highest order nailed, I got No Place Like America Today.

The line I just drew tells you a lot about this album: Curtis seems to have put his Impressions Orchestra way and let his wha wha do more of the work on this album. Not that the arrangements are not lush, but they are more driven by some horns, and more important, the dense sound Curtis and the basic band draw from this music.

The songs here are no less ambitious and successful than on the very early 70s Curtis Mayfield work, and his writing has not changed. But with the leaner arrangements, Curtis' massive talent, massive as any in music, stands more starkly--you actually hear more in this music by having to listen to less.

There is a slow draw to There Is No Place Like America Today, and if you look at the 1974 cover, it fits. This is the great malaise, after Vietnam, Watergate, and the end of the Civil Rights Movement. Look at the 1950s family in the car and then the breadlines on the bottom

What is amazing, and its not good, is that we have come full cycle, disillusioned and directionless after 9/11. Iraq, and the bank bailouts. The issues are different, and trust me, current music can't hold a candle to the music of the 1970s.

But I bet if Mayfield were with us now, he would tell us: there is no place like America today.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Curtis Mayfield, September 25, 2009
By 
Pgull "pag" (Pine Bluff, Ar USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
I had been looking everywhere for this CD...My son told me to check with Amazon.com (he said they have everything)...Sure enough I got the CD and love it...Curtis was ahead of his time as reflected in his music. The message in this album reflects the hard times in our lives today. We will always remember Curtis and his tremendous contribution to music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Searching At It's Best., February 24, 2010
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This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
Few if any artists were able to take the events of the day, put it to music & touch the deepest part of your being like Curtis. This was the "State of the Union" address for that time period & in many ways this current one as well. Mayfield was always very socially conscious in his lyrical content but this album really seems to dig deep into the soul and express the fears, gloom, disillusion of people in that time period. It's an ablum of many moods and reflects true human emotion from love to loss to joy and pain, a very dualistic approach indeed.

You find also perhaps his best guitar work on this ablum and the funkiest, hardest and nastiest music compositions as well. No song shows this more than the first track "Billy Jack", hard core funk with lyrics that are unashamed in their revealing of how harsh life truly can be. Curtis also displays his more mellow side with the next 2 tracks "When Seasons Change" and "So In Love". This is an album that challenges it's listener to go inward and reflect on beliefs held while at the same time encouraging the opportunity for possible change.

The poet once again takes us on a ride thru society and how it was affecting peoples lives day to day were they were at. This is one of my personal favorites by Mayfield & although many claim it's dark and sullen, I found it refreshing, raw and honest. This record was released in 1975, a year which so some of the most wonderful music ever to be released, but few were addressing the still prevelant injustices still affecting many people. The nation was just coming out of Vietnam and the fallout from the Watergate scandal and it was also right in the middle of the Black Power Movement which was the next phase of what was the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's.

This is a very reflective album that reveals what a person living in that day might have felt and the raw emotion they may have been dealing with. And it gives the listener a very in depth level of understanding as to what was going on inside of Curtis himself as he looked at the world of his day and saw very real issues that were having very real consequences. Just listen to his heartfelt cry in "Jesus", I think he truly lets his listener into his psyche on this ablum maybe more than any other and revealed that behind his warm and friendly smile, their was a man who was deeply disturbed about the course of the country he found himself in.

I've loved Curtis' music since he co-founded The Impressions who were my favorite group of the 1960's. His is a career few if any have matched. To be in an incredible group, then have an outstanding solo career as both a performer, producer and executive is a very rare thing indeed. This is album may have been more sullen than others released that year but it's no less important and it's songs and message stood up to anything else have a relevance for all even to this day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's Nothing Like Finding This CD Today, July 20, 2008
By 
R. Toomey (Piscataway, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
This is extremely hard to find in 'single' form. For awhile it was a two-for CD package and now that's even rare. Curtis gives us "Billy Jack", a song that never made his last two single Greatest Hits packages. It is only now available on his double 'Anthology' collection and appears on the second volume of the various artists collection 'Superfly Funk'. Lenny Kravitz covered it on the Curtis Mayfield tribute album and has said that it is also his favorite Curtis Mayfield song. This is definitely MY favorite Mayfield composition. Though there were not any STRONG singles released from this album it's still very Funky. When this CD is in my player it definitely gets cranked to extreme decibles. Check this one out and add it to you "Pile O' Funk.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Underappreciated Masterpiece, October 24, 2012
As an eighties baby, my exposure to Curtis Mayfield's work came thirty years after its original production. Naturally, I first gravitated toward Superfly (his most popular release). While I appreciate the funk-infused complex arrangements of Superfly, I find There's No Place Like America Today to be a more accomplished body of work.

This album is to be experienced rather than merely heard. Mayfield conveys his emotion through music so well that it becomes infectious. The stripped-down guitar-laden arrangements of "Billy Jack" will make your body move, yet Mayfield's imagery is so vivid it will make you stop moving and start thinking. Mayfield's falsetto range is featured prominently over a slowed-down simplistic yet well-executed arrangement on "When Seasons Change". "Hard Times" and "Love to the People" both offer funky upbeat arrangement typical of Mayfield's more popular works.

"Blue Monday People" is simply one of Mayfield's all-time greatest tracks. It is, at once, both melancholy and uplifting. The arrangement gets into your soul and changes your mood. The lyrics invoke vivid imagery and a demand for America to live up to its creed in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and Nixon's Watergate. The track is history and art.

This album is a must hear not just for Mayfield followers, but for everyone who appreciates great music.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, February 24, 2009
This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
This CD is about the world today. There's no place like America Today is true. There is no place like America. All the songs on this album touch the soul of Curtis Mayfield. I recommend this album to anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Curtis is the MAN, February 20, 2014
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This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
I had this CD before don't know what happened to it but I bought it again I love this music. This CD is it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful underrated album, November 7, 2013
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This review is from: There's No Place Like America Today (Audio CD)
Wonderful underrated album badly in need of remaster. Track for track one Curtis Mayfields best. The slow burn melancholy funk of Billy Jack is my favorite.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Little known gem, November 26, 2012
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This album is my favorite Curtis. It's nice to see the vinyl available again. The pressing is solid, quiet and deeply rich. Yummy.
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There's No Place Like America Today
There's No Place Like America Today by Curtis Mayfield (Audio CD - 2005)
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