America's 18th album, Hourglass, sounds both familiar and fresh. The familiarity arises because of the duo's history of hits, although, by the time it was released, they had not had a hit on the music charts in over a decade. The freshness comes from a well-produced album with some surprisingly good songs. The album opens with "Young Moon," which is as good as any of the group's hits. The final selection on the album is a faithful re-recording of one of their biggest hits, "You Can Do Magic." In between are ten fine, listenable songs, which is rare for a group that has been together for as long as America. Tunes that standout include "Hope," "Close to the Wind," and "Whole Wide World." "Everyone I Meet Is From California," by former group member Dan Peek, is also included. Hourglass features string arrangements by Chip Davis, of Mannheim Steamroller fame, and vocals by the late Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. Note that America continues their tradition of naming their albums with words starting with the letter "H."
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AllMusic Review by Tim Griggs