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San Francisco

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iTunes Review

After the artful experiment of its major label debut— Mercury, with producer Mitchell Froom—American Music Club decided to streamline its approach for the follow-up. San Francisco is the group's hardest-rocking album, which in AMC terms is an odd distinction. The group made its bones with a simmering quiet that fueled albums such as California and United Kingdom. Here, the band still has its spellbinding moments. Pedal steel guitarist Bruce Kaphan adds an air of mystery to all he touches, and his contributions highlight the album's best moments: "Fearless" and "Cape Canaveral." Beyond this, there's an unusually sleek and funky groove to "I Broke My Promise" and "Can You Help Me?" that distances the band from Eitzel's heartbroken lyrics. "Hello Amsterdam" is a Stones-like piece of raunch, while "Wish the World Away" and "It's Your Birthday" capitalize on the alt-rock wave that was dominating the mid-'90s. In the end, the album is the group's most eclectic. It would be AMC's last until it reunited nearly 10 years later.

Customer Reviews

A definitive desert-island disc

Simply put, when looking for signs that music serves to make us feel more human...this album is at the very front. Eitzel & Company at their absolute finest.


Formed: 1983 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Although chosen for its deliberately nondescript qualities, in retrospect the name American Music Club was the perfect moniker for the lauded San Francisco-based band led by singer/songwriter Mark Eitzel: over the course of nine acclaimed albums, the group tied together the disparate strands of the American musical fabric -- rock, folk, country, punk, even lounge schmaltz -- into a remarkably distinct and riveting whole, creating a brilliant and cohesive body of work dappled by moments of haunting...
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San Francisco, American Music Club
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