For the unrelenting and demonstrably vital crew of Bad Religion, the story of 2000's The New America is about more than a distant point on our country's horizon, it's about a creative journey into the heart of their own punk rock origins and thought-provoking purpose. The group's last Atlantic release was recorded on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with the famed Todd Rundgren in the producer's chair. For the group's singer and songwriter, Greg Graffin, Rundgren's participation in the recording effectively brought him together with one of his musical heroes and life-long influences.
With the maverick rock star and one of the underground's true originals in the role of project mentor, Graffin rose to new heights of creativity, performance, passion, and perspective. On dramatic rock tracks ranging from the propulsive, riff-roaring "You've Got A Chance" and the high-flying anti-anthem "New America," Graffin sings of a welling optimism tempered by stark reality. The millennial moment is dramatically surveyed with such insightful numbers as the cyber-sexy "I Love My Computer" and "A World Without Melody." At the same time, such songs as "Whisper In Time," "A Streetkid Named Desire," and "1000 Memories" find Graffin taking an introspective walk through personal crisis, powerfully related in embracable, universal tones.
In the process of moving forward to carve out one of the band's most dynamically alluring, energized, and communicative albums of their then 20-year-long career, Graffin reunited with former guitarist and one of Bad Religion's founding members, Brett Gurewitz, to write the driving, soaring (and tellingly-titled) "Believe It." The contributions marked Gurewitz's first to a Bad Religion album since 1994's RIAA gold-certified Stranger Than Fiction.