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Birthday

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Album Review

Birthday is a strong record. Vocally, the intricate harmonies shine, and there is a lyrical depth on some songs that challenge the Association's reputation as a mere pop group. Granted, there are some light moments, such as the opening cut, "Come On In" (though the vocals do stand out on this cut). And "Toymaker" and "Hear in Here" show the vocal limitations of the lead singers. But "Like Always" does an excellent job of wryly commenting on the loss of a relationship, with the usual fine vocal interplay. "The Time It Is Today" mixes the political and personal in an effective way. And "Everything That Touches You" (their final Top Ten ) is one of their finest love songs, if not one of their best songs, period. The vocals are as intricate as the arrangement, and the sincerity of the lyrics is very apparent. Production by Bones Howe gives the record a very commercial, clean sound that fits well with the material presented.

Biography

Formed: 1965 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Association was one of the more underrated groups to come out of the mid- to late '60s. Creators of an enviable string of hits from 1966 through 1969, they got caught in a shift in popular culture and the unwritten criteria for significance in that field and never recovered. The group's smooth harmonies and pop-oriented sound (which occasionally moved into psychedelia and, much more rarely, into a harder, almost garage-punk vein) made them regular occupants of the highest reaches of the pop charts...
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Birthday, The Association
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