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American Anthems II:
This is the second album in the American Anthems series. It is a compilation of American rock songs, 58 to be precise, spread over 3 CD's. This album was released on the 11 of November 2011 and was long awaited by fans of the first CD. These CD's are perfect for keeping in the car and making long journeys a little bit better. There are a huge variety of artists in this compilation with modern and classic tracks. I love compilation CD's as they are refreshing to listen to and you do not have to put up with the same artist for a long period of time. The makers of this CD have already picked out some of the best American Anthems ever so all you have to do is sit back and listen.
The album can be downloaded from iTunes for £7.99, which in my opinion is a bargain price for 58 great songs.
As there are so many tracks on this album I have picked out some of the best tracks and some which aren't quite as good but are still worth mentioning. For the tracks I don't mention at all, I would probably press skip.
The Best of CD 1:
We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel.
I wasn't familiar with this song before buying this album but now I really like it. The more I listen to it the better it gets. I have never been a Billy Joel fan but this 1989 track is interesting as its lyrics are about headlines and it is quite catchy.
Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac.
A classic rock track from this incredibly successful 80s band. This song was released in the year I was born, 1988, yet I still know it well and find it an uplifting song. Especially the chorus; 'Oh I.... wanna be with you everywhere'.
Girl Can't Help It by Journey.
I was first introduced to this band via the TV show Glee. This song is no Don't Stop Believing but it definitely has that rock edge and the vocals are fantastic. It was released in 1986 and is one of the band's greatest hits.
I Don't Want To Be by Gavin DeGraw.
This song I know like the back of my hand. Gavin DeGraw is one of my favourite artists ever. His gritty and distinctive singing voice is exceptional and for me this is definitely an American Anthem. It is Gavin's most successful single to date and featured on his 2004 debut album Chariot. It is a rock/pop song with a very catchy tune and instrumental. Fans of the television series One Tree Hill may recognise this song as the opening theme tune from the earlier series.
Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer.
This song I remember well from when I was a kid. It is a lovely gentle rock song from this American band. It featured on Dawson's Creek and the classic film She's All That. There are some great instrumentals behind this song and the female lead singers voice is rather unique. This was definitely an anthem of the 90's.
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite by R.E.M.
I would describe this song as alternative rock. It was influenced by The Lion Sleeps Tonight from the Lion King which is evident in the title of the song and in the opening moments when there is a slight howl. I like this song because it is a little bit different even though I am not a fan of R.E.M.
All Summer Long by Kid Rock.
Listening to this song just makes me wish that it was summer. It is a 2008 classic rock track from the cheeky Kid Rock with a country edge to it. 'Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long...'. This song will make you want to go to Tennessee and is perfect for remembering those fantastic summer days.
All These Things That I've Done by The Killers.
Brandon Flowers can do no wrong in my eyes. I didn't love this song when it was first released in 2004 but it has grown on me since then. 'I got soul but I'm not a soldier' will go down as an influential lyric for years to come. My favourite aspect of this song is the gospel choir that it features as I love gospel music.
The Best of CD 2:
Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon.
This is another song that I was introduced to through Glee. It is a rock-ballad about falling in love with somebody and having to tell them, originally released in 1984. It is a lovely song and despite it not charting very highly at the time of its release, it is still known years later.
You're So Vain by Carly Simon.
I can't believe that this song was originally released in 1972. I grew up hearing this song and still to this day enjoy listening to it. The lyrics are fantastic and it is Carly Simon's most successful record. It has featured in the top 100 list of the greatest songs of all time.
Hey, Soul Sister by Train.
If I was going to pick a Train song to be on an American Anthems CD I am not sure that this would be the one I chose. That said, it is an incredible song; catchy, fun and uplifting. It was hugely successful in the States when it was released in 2010.
Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.
This 1984 track was a huge hit for the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun singer. The ballad is a classic 80s hit and is definitely an American Anthem.
Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn.
This song makes me smile from the opening piano playing to the final lyrics. It is a legendary song about Memphis and Elvis. It's also incredibly catchy and fantastic to sing-a-long to. This song is Marc Cohn's biggest hit and was first released back in 1991.
One Of Us by Joan Osborne.
This song has always been one of my favourites. I have always listened to the Alanis Morissette version of this song and only discovered the original when I got this album. I do like this version a lot as it is softer and the instrumentals aren't as heavy. I love the meaning of this song and the story that it tells. Joan's version was originally released in 1995.
More Than Words by Extreme.
This song is a beautiful ballad by the rock band Extreme. It was originally released in 1991 and was a huge hit for the band. The song sounds relevant today; it could have been released last year. The song is about finding more than just words to tell someone how much they love them. It has an acoustic guitar throughout and the vocals are amazing.
If You Leave Me Now by Chicago.
This 1976 ballad is great to have a sing to once in a while. It was Chicago's biggest ever hit and has been heard all around the world ever since it's release. The catchy 'oooooo baby please don't go' has made this song a classic.
The Best of CD 3:
If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher.
It is hard to believe that this amazing track came from Cher's 20th album!
Released in 1989, it's success gave Cher a successful comeback and was one of her greatest hits ever. Cher is unstoppable, I love this song!
Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship.
This song is really cheesy but I love it. It will have you swaying from side to side in no time. When Starship released this song in 1987 I bet they didn't realise what a huge karaoke hit it would be to this today.
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad by Meat Loaf.
When I think of American Anthems, this song definitely comes to mind. It is a great, classic rock ballad from Meat Loaf. From the 1977 album Bat Out of Hell, this song will go down as one of his best ever.
These Dreams by Heart.
This song was the band's first ever number one hit in the USA, back in 1986. It is a definite power ballad with a pop/rock edge. It really does sound like a song from the 80s with its distinctive instrumentals.
Sailing by Christopher Cross.
This song was a huge success at its time of release in 1980, winning the Grammy for record of the year. I really do like this ballad, it is easy to listen to and timeless.
Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan.
I prefer Adele's version of this song but I like the original too. It is different and I love the way he sings it. It was featured on his 1997 album Time Out of Mind and since then many artists have gone on to successfully cover the track.
Make It With You by Bread.
This was a US number one hit in 1970 for the band. It is very easy to listen to with it's soft rock sound and simple lyrics. It is sung very well and doesn't sound like a song from 42 years ago.
Purple Rain by Prince.
In my opinion this is one of the best songs of all time. Prince is a musical icon and this 1984 power ballad is a classic American Anthem. The high notes which Prince hit are phenomenal and the instrumentals help create an amazing musical masterpiece.
Other Good Tracks:
There are a lot of other great tracks on the album, including:
We Don't Need Another Hero by Tina Turner.
What I Am by Edie Brickell
When I'm Alone By Lissie
Gloria by Laura Branigan
(To name a few).
Overall I really like this compilation and think that it is a bargain. There is a great collection and variety of songs on the album which suit's a lot of musical tastes. I like how the album caters for people of all ages, including classic songs from many decades. The mix of modern music and classic songs makes this an education and a pleasure to listen to. There are a lot of songs on this album which I had never heard before and I am glad I bought this album as it has introduced me to a lot of great songs. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes American rock music. My favourite CD is the second one as there are more songs on it that I am familiar with.
Thank you for reading : )
Review also on Ciao under luceey.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Toto â?? Africa
2 Tina Turner â?? We Don't Need Another Hero
3 ZZ Top â?? Gimme All Your Lovin'
4 Whitesnake â?? Here I Go Again
5 Billy Joel â?? We Didn't Start The Fire
6 Fleetwood Mac â?? Everywhere
7 Hall & Oates â?? I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
8 Survivor â?? Burning Heart
9 Poison â?? Unskinny Bop
10 Journey â?? Girl Can't Help It
11 Bad English â?? When I See You Smile
12 Boz Scaggs â?? Lido Shuffle
13 Edie Brickell â?? What I Am
14 Lissie â?? When Iâ??m Alone
15 Gavin DeGraw â?? I Don't Want To Be
16 Sixpence None The Richer â?? Kiss Me
17 R.E.M. â?? The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
18 Kid Rock â?? All Summer Long
19 The Killers â?? All These Things That I've Done
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 REO Speedwagon â?? Can't Fight This Feeling
2 Foreigner â?? Waiting For A Girl Like You
3 Paul Simon â?? You Can Call Me Al
4 Huey Lewis & The News â?? Stuck With You
5 Doobie Brothers â?? Long Train Running
6 Steve Miller Band â?? Abracadabra
7 Carly Simon â?? You're So Vain
8 Train â?? Hey, Soul Sister
9 Mr. Mister â?? Kyrie
10 Cyndi Lauper â?? Time After Time
11 Richard Marx â?? Take This Heart
12 Marc Cohn â?? Walking In Memphis
13 Pat Benetar â?? We Belong
14 Joan Osborne â?? One Of Us
15 Styx - Babe
16 Shawn Mullins â?? Lullaby
17 Spin Doctors â?? Little Miss Can't Be Wrong
18 Extreme â?? More Than Words
19 Chicago â?? If You Leave Me Now
Disc #3 Tracklisting
1 Cher â?? If I Could Turn Back Time
2 Billy Idol â?? Rebel Yell
3 David Lee Roth â?? Californian Girls
4 Kiss â?? Crazy Crazy Nights
5 Belinda Carlisle â?? Leave A Light On
6 Starship â?? Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
7 Meat Loaf â?? Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
8 Roy Orbison â?? I Drove All Night
9 Heart â?? These Dreams
10 Laura Branigan â?? Gloria
11 Kenny Loggins â?? Playing With The Boys
12 Cheap Trick â?? Mighty Wings
13 Rick Springfield â?? Human Touch
14 Christopher Cross â?? Sailing
15 Boston â?? Hitch A Ride
16 Kansas â?? Carry On Wayward Son
17 Bob Dylan â?? Make You Feel My Love
18 Bread â?? Make It With You
19 America â?? Horse With No Name
20 Prince â?? Purple Rain