God Bless America [Sony]

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a number of patriotic-themed compilation albums were released to help provide emotional solace to a traumatized America. While some featured orchestral versions of old standbys such as the "Star Spangled Banner," this collection centers around songs by some of the biggest pop artists. There are a couple of chestnuts hauled out here (Canadian siren Celine Dion takes on the titular anthem), most of the selections are original compositions by the artists, songs with a special place in the American pantheon. Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" is no chest-thumping, jingoistic anthem, but rather a poignant look at human feelings in the midst of war. Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" speaks to anyone seeking spiritual comfort in times of strife. Touching the worlds of pop, folk, rock, gospel, country, and more, GOD BLESS AMERICA was designed with the feelings of troubled Americans in mind.

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