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American Babies

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Album Review

American Babies is, in effect, the group name for Philadelphia singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Hamilton, who is joined on the band's self-titled debut album by the rhythm section of his bass-playing brother Jim Hamilton and drummer Joe Russo, along with a bevy of guests who sing along and play keyboards, cello, violin, and lap steel guitar. Hamilton favors country-flavored folk-rock arrangements, many of them taken at relaxed, even languorous tempos, over which he sings of the vagaries of love. The deliberate pacing often recalls Cowboy Junkies, and Hamilton's lyric subjects, written in the first person to a "you" with whom the "I" always seems to be romantically involved, tend toward the melancholy. But he rarely gets as depressed as Cowboy Junkies, even when he's confessing his loneliness about his loved one's absence, and he often comes off as charmingly mesmerized by her physical appeal. "There goes my girl, guns a-blazing," he sings in "Brooklyn Bridge," "She looks amazing." Smitten as he is by her appearance, Hamilton (or, at least, the character speaking in the lyrics) has trouble getting along with his girl, but he hasn't given up hope. Even if things aren't going to work out, he suggests in one of the more up-tempo tunes, "Rocker," that may be just as well: "So here's to getting rid of me/And here's to moving on/Ya see I'm tired of playing this ruthless game/I had you, I lost you, I had you, I lost you." Whatever he says, however, the listener suspects he'd be happy to have her again.

Customer Reviews


they kinda sound like the Fray. cool album cover.weird title. but, its calming and nice. not a must have, but still...


Formed: Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Roots rock band American Babies is a showcase for the songwriting of Philadelphia-based singer/guitarist Tom Hamilton, a former member of Brothers Past, who initially filled out the group with his brother, Jim Hamilton, on bass and Joe Russo on drums, later adding guitarist Scott Metzger. They built up a following in the Northeast and Midwest, including a stop at the Bonnaroo...
Full Bio

Customer Ratings