America

Your Move

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View From the Ground brought America back into the Top Ten with the exquisite "You Can Do Magic," one of the best soft rock anthems of the early '80s. It was an unexpected but welcome comeback for the group, and it seemed like they could continue to spin out hits with its sequel, 1983's Your Move. That didn't turn out to be the case. Your Move feels wrong from the start, with its stiff drum-machine beats, synthesizers, and extremely slight song, "My Kinda Woman." Things pick up a little bit with the gentle, Californian breeze of "She's a Runaway," but that turns out to be an anomaly; most of Your Move sounds like "My Kinda Woman" and is about as catchy and memorable. It's hard to tell what happened to Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, and it's not enough to blame Russ Ballard, who, after all, delivers a soft rock/adult contemporary record that plays by all the rules of 1983 radio. There's a distinct lack of spark in the material, production, and performance; only "The Border," which became a minor Top 40 hit, finds the right combination, and it's good enough to rank among the best of America's latter-day material. Unfortunately, it also serves to point out how lame the rest of the album is.

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