Livin' Above Your Head

by: Jay & the Americans

This was a surprisingly ambitious album for Jay & the Americans, featuring three strong originals among its 11 numbers, which included covers of such contemporary pop hits as "Monday, Monday" (done with astonishing depth by Jay Black) and their version of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore." This is very much a pop release more than a rock & roll album, with the orchestral arrangements dominating and a certain smoothness keeping the group from ever showing much of an edge. What they do display here is an urgency of expression and a perfection in the singing that make Livin' Above Your Head a delight to hear, even if it does seem like they are moving dangerously toward Lettermen/Sandpipers territory. Think of it as their Sgt. Pepper's and it works as a display of what Jay & the Americans could do removed from the need to perform what they were recording. ~ Bruce Eder

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