Warner BS 2852
Released: March 1975
Chart Peak: #4
Weeks Charted: 44
Certified Gold: 6/12/75
Among America's first four albums, only their third, Hat Trick, was not an outstanding commercial success. Then former Beatles producer George Martin came to the rescue for Holiday, whose tasty, well-structured arrangements of simple material helped reestablish the band's popularity with the singles "Tin Man" and "Lonely People." America's strengths are catchy melodic hooks and clean vocal harmonies; its weaknesses -- shallow song lyrics and lack of instrumental virtuosity. Like Holiday, Hearts engages at the Top 40 level. The harmonies on "Daisy Jane," "Bell Tree" and "Sister Golden Hair" are somewhat Beatles-like in their sweetness and precision. "Old Virginia" and especially "Tomorrow" boast catchy tunes, while "Midnight" fades on an especially pretty George Martin string arrangement. Hearts is better than average radio fare and nothing more.
- Stephen Holden, Rolling Stone, 6/5/75.
I began listening to this album with no great expectations, but by the third song the excellence of the arrangements and production was so evident -- and so comforting -- that the rest of the disc moved easily and pleasantly. America still dispenses tuneful, if basically bland, pop-oriented pastiches of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but let's face it: as pabulum goes, it's remarkably well prepared.
The man responsible for the arrangements and production of Hearts is George Martin, and it's high time he got some kind of award. Before he became associated with the Beatles (and it is fair to say that Martin's skills, which are diplomatic as well as musical, helped the Beatles immensely). Martin produced the recordings of the Goons, featuring Peter Sellers, who were the Monty Python of the Fifties. Whether dealing with lunatic comedy, the farthest reaches of rock, or the very tuneful and straight-ahead pleasantries of America, Martin has always brought to his productions taste combined with an understanding of both what performers want to do and what they are capable of doing. He is a very accomplished gentleman, is Mr. Martin, and without him the history of recent pop music would have fewer great moment.s
- Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 8/75.
For the fifth time, America's distinctive style of soft acoustics, gemlike vocal harmonies and surrealistic lyrics is delivered to a rapidly enlarging mass audience. The trio of "Air Force Brats" is hotter than ever, due to heavy touring and aggressive management, plus a record comeback with their previous Holiday LP and singles "Tin Man" and "Lonely People." Several strong singles cuts make current LP another likely top ten gold winner. Best cuts: "Sister Golden Hair," "Seasons," "Company," "Story Of A Teenager."
- Billboard, 1975.
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