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New Music Reviews

Saturday, 6 August, 2011 3:13 AM

Mark Wills' new album, Looking for America, is worth the buy

Album cover courtesy of Starlight Records/Gracie Productions

Looking for America is available now in stores everywhere.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

   

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Country star Mark Wills is best known for the hits “Wish You Were Here,” “19 Somethin’” and “Don’t Laugh at Me.” He released his seventh album, Looking for America, on June 21. The record contains mostly ballads and only a few uptempto songs. It is very patriotic in tone and screams red, white and blue.

Wills worked on this album for two years. He produced it along with songwriter Chris Lindsey (who is best known for the songs “Amazed,” “This One’s For the Girls” and “I Wonder”). Gracie Productions is handling the market concentration and distribution of the album. The production company has worked with artists such as Eminem, Lil Wayne and Christina Aguilera. It is safe to say that they know what they’re doing.

The record has a total of ten songs – nine are studio tracks and the last song was done acoustically. The title track is currently being played on the radio and is climbing the charts. In addition, the song “Crazy Being Home” is being used as the campaign song for USA Cares’ Warrior Treatment Today.

“This is definitely a personal album for me and although some folks might see it as a bit of departure from the music I’ve recorded in the past, this project is really ‘all-encompassing,’” Wills said in a press release. “It’s got gun and grit, pain and romance, heart-heavy emotions and is chock-full of life situations; there is a dose of reality in this record.”

Many of the tracks on Looking for America remind me of Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue” and Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America.” ‘

My favorite song on the album is the title track, “Looking for America.” I think it will resonate with Detroit listeners very well. Some of the lyrics are: “I’m looking for a factory, Where a man can feed his family, Not worried about them moving it South, Closing the doors and shut 'er down tomorrow.”

The song looks to the past and brings up the good ol’ days when life was easier and simpler. After hearing that song, I immediately thought of John Rich’s song “Shuttin’ Detroit Down.” Metro Detroiters have heard time and time again of the automobile factories closing. Now, the Big Three are recovering and are starting to hire once again.

Another highlight from the album is the song “Like There’s No Yesterday.” It is all about dancing and I think it would make a great prom song. High schools could also use it at their Homecoming or Coming Home dances.

Wills has entertained our troops more than seven times. He traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. In addition, he has performed at a variety of Fallen Soldier Charities in the U.S. Wills is currently working with USA Cares to launch a national awareness campaign for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. He has been the spokesman for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2007.

The last time I saw Mark Wills was at the Tecumseh Cornfest with Josh Gracin in Tecumseh, Ont. Wills is amazing on stage. If you get the chance to see him, don’t even think about not going. You should go!!!

Look for Mark Wills to play the Dexter Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 17th in Dexter, Mich.

For more information on Mark Wills, visit his website at www.markwills.com.

Related Story: PHOTOS: Josh Gracin and Mark Wills at the Tecumseh Cornefest in Ontario, Canada

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Mark Wills performed at the Tecumseh Cornfest on Aug. 20, 2010.

 

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