Come a Little Bit Closer [UA]

by: Jay & the Americans

Come a Little Bit Closer was an odd album. Although it doesn't say as much, it's virtually a compilation of singles -- it's not a hits collection, however, although there are a couple of those on there. Mostly, it's just a slapped together effort, to get a 12" CD out there to cash in on the hit status of "Come a Little Bit Closer" late in 1964. That said, most of what's here is good if not exceptional pop-rock -- the best cut here, along with the title track, is the one new cut, "She Doesn't Know It," which shows the group going off in some unexpected thematic and vocal directions and could have been the core of a really good LP of new material. "To Wait for Love" is nothing to write home about, however, and was right where it belonged as a B-side; "Friday" has a slightly dark edge that makes one think it might've been potentially part of a musical; apart from the different voice in the lead, "This Is It," which was recorded by the Jay Traynor version of the group more than three years before, sounds quaintly old-fashioned in the midst of these newer tracks; and "Come Dance With Me" was a rewrite of "Save the Last Dance for Me" on which the group sound absurdly like the Drifters. It all ends on a sufficiently melodramatic note with "Goodbye Boys Goodbye" (aka "Ciao Ragazzi Ciao," with one of the densest arrangements in the group's history, approaching Phil Spector territory. ~ Bruce Eder

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