The Association - Birthday (1968)
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.