Jay Spears | Playin' On My Team

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Pop: Quirky Pop: Beatles-pop Moods: Out-and-Proud
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Playin' On My Team

by Jay Spears

Here's Jay's second album of smart, fun, heartfelt love songs --- about other guys. Fun grooves, extra-crispy guitars, juicy harmonies -- and gay as a $3 bill. What's not to like?
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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1. Playin' On My Team
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3:35 $0.99
2. I Will Always Love You
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3:53 $0.99
3. Swept Away
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3:27 $0.99
4. Drive Time
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3:43 $0.99
5. Who Is This Guy?
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2:25 $0.99
6. Hey Arnie!
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2:29 $0.99
7. My Belinda
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3:41 $0.99
8. Sean, Sean
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2:45 $0.99
9. My Boyfriend's Back
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2:52 $0.99
10. Cheapskate
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2:23 $0.99
11. Smak Dem Christians Down
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4:28 $0.99
12. Bougainvillea Waltz
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4:36 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
With ear-catching toe-tappers like I LIKE MIKE and CRYIN' OVER BRIAN, Jay Spears' debut album BOY HOWDY was Outmusic's nominee for Outstanding Album 2003, and the feel-good swing of I LIKE MIKE made for a hit single and a smash music video (think swing-dancing baseball players) that still airs in heavy rotation on Viacom's LOGO channel.
Now Jay's back, and his new CD is called PLAYIN' ON MY TEAM, of course. The gay love-child of Randy Newman and Tom Waits, Jay's new batch of homo-pop gathers gay dating, R&R, urban techno, Irish-Catholic guilt, acoustic story-song, a boy-on-boy cover of a 1963 girl-group chart-topper, and even a big ol' full-choir gospel tune for our wacky Evangelical pals into one great big way-gay musical bouquet.

REVIEWS:

I love the cd. I'm singing Sean, Sean EVERYWHERE and when people ask me what am I singing i just put my iPod in their face and say this is the song and this is the man. -- Erlin, NY

So like I'm driving like a NASCAR nut to Palm Springs. I had resisted the temptation playing your new CD until I could listen to it in 1 sitting. So there I am in the middle of the desert, and a familiar Herman's Hermits guitar riff gets going. NTS, I'm laughing my ass off. And My Boyfriend's back just made me snort on the water I was chugging. Hey, let's not forget your tribute to DaVinci on the disc graphics...you ol' beefbo you. Thanks, Larz

Hi Jay, Just wanted to let you know how jazzed I am that you've got a new album! I've been looking forward to this since I bought your last one. No one writes quite like you:) Best of luck in all you do. Sincerely, Mike

Hey Jay! Phil, the boys and I just returned from a weekend in Chicago and were thrilled to open our mailbox and find "Playin' On My Team"! The kids were so excited that you had recorded a whole second album. We burst out laughing at Cheapskate and then laughed with a bit of "we're going to hell" fervor over the brilliant Smak Dem Christians Down. Oh my lord, what great songwriting! Glad to have some new Jay treats and we hope you are doing well! -- Brian, Phil, Max & Spencer; WI
P.S. Thrilled to have Bougainvillea Waltz on with the back-up...we love that version!

Jay, my but the playin' on "Playin' On..." is superb. Krist on a crutch, but you can sting those strings! Thanks for sending the disc my way. It's in heaviest rotation mode in my car now, and I am constantly grabbing the Jewel Box to see who played what. I will soon crash. I am partial to 'Arnie' for its shuffle beatiness, but am just wild about My Belinda and am singing it to myself all of the time. Not a dud tune on the thing and a cheerier cheekier Jay-y-er disc does not exist.
Kudos to Yudos. More Jay on wax is a very very good thingie. -- Brad, L.A.

WOW PLAYING ON MY TEAM SOUNDS GREAT MAN LOVE THE WORDS SO COOL!! GOOD LUCK ON YR NEW CD. Love, Mike


Reviews


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Gregory Fillar

Jay Spears: Gay Troubadour and Musical Alchemist Extraodinaire!
Once again, Jay Spears brings joy and romance, love and laughter to his music loving audience. But this time he spices it all up with a dash of socio-political satire and "religious" fervor. He also takes a few "oldie goldie" 50s hits and gives them a good gay spin, literally and figuratively.

This man has talent! Yet despite his musical bravura and stylish bravado,he's still just one darn nice, normal gay guy. When it comes to Jay, what's not to like!

Don P. Normann

Well, Spank My Eardrums! It's Finally Here!!!
The rating I've given is because: 1) your new album is FINALLY here, and 2) just based on the samples I heard, DUDE! You did the unthinkable! You TOPPED yourself! (Oh...should I rephrase that...? Hehheh...) But just based on what I heard between the title cut and "Smak Dem Krischuns (MY spelling) Down", my order will be in yer hot little...I mean hot BIG hands by this week's end! I can't wait to put together a folder of my faves from both albums on my new MP3 player...And I thought that "I Like Mike" was the best song you'd ever done...D-OH! Thanks again, Jay, and I'm still waiting to see you live and in the hunky 'beef-bo' flesh!--Donny N., Arlington, VA.

Bill Stella, Highest Common Denominator

Oh Hell yeah. (revision of review in 10/06's Challenge - GAAMC.org's newsletter)
Playin' On My Team scores big by mixing sincerity, fun, and pop music tributes in a breakthrough style of manly homo-pop.
. Equal measures of humor and melancholy in the lyrics, of tradition and innovation in the songs, combine handsomely.
. I enjoy the hit parade of pop styles Jay pays tribute to. The title track's harmonies blend with good spirits to remind me of what made The Turtles' music memorable.
. Contact Ringo Starr's management – Jay's "I Will Always Love You" should be in his repertoire. (Bonus: A one-off "yeah, yeah, yeah" appears late in the song.)
. "Who Is This Guy?" might be "I Like Mike" redux: Melancholy morning-after musings, similar strumming as on "Mike", but in a minor key and joined by an unsettled, unsettling fiddling (by Darius Campo) are as beautiful in performance as those inescapable next day questions are unwelcome. It reminds me of the Ringo-featured Beatles song "Don't Let Me Down" if it had transmuted into something unassailably sincere and honest.
. Jay revises traditional musical forms for his own purposes. "Swept Away" recalls upbeat (but cautionary), country-flavored storysongs. "Hey Arnie" lovingly rips off the banjo intro from Herman's Hermits' "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter", reviving its skiffle style. And there's one from my dream list of "Songs Gay Men Should Cover": The Angels' "My Boyfriend's Back".
. "Playin'"s standout track is "Drive Time": it brilliantly takes on the Hell that is heavy traffic. The manic rhythm, like Don Henley's Dirty Laundry's "Kick 'em when they're up / Kick 'em when they're down" hook, powers rhythmic, uniquely-shifting spoken vocals over deceptively familiar-sounding dance tracks. As if a Devo tour bus driven by Jon Anderson (Yes) singing baritone, with guests The Bonzo Dog Band onboard had crashed into a studio where Paul McCartney was messing around for hits and giggles, "Drive Time"'s head-on impact is dead funny - and true; the abstract idea elements collide cleanly to release a kind of music concrete.
. But the game "Playin'" isn't without errors. Spots could leave stronger impressions if a critical ear had noted places that needed shoring up. Every song (except "Drive Time") could have used taking another crack at singing some spots more in tune. Ditto a few scattered guitar lines not tuned to each other (most noticeably in the title track). And I appreciate the history lesson of "Smak Dem Christians Down" more than its execution.
. The final score for Playin' On My Team shows Jay Spears wins by putting up big numbers – but with stretches of off-sides play one can't ignore. But when it's over, it sends me home engaged and delighted and, like a good night out at the game, ready for bed. Manly, yes – But I like it, too. Oh Hell yeah.

geobird

Just as good - if not better!
Well, Jay has done it again. This CD is as good, if not better in its own way, than "Boy Howdy." Again, he seems to have a lot of fun with the songs. "Playing on My Team" (the song) is an upbeat comment on the gay community. "Drive Time" is really fun - just words and a beat - but see if you can pick a story out of it. "Hey Arnie" owes a musical debt to Herman's Hermits. And believe it or not, Jay and the guys pull off a version of "My Boyfriend's Back" that gives the Angels a run for their money. Then Jay gets serious with "Swept Away," using a great sustained metaphor about letting go. Nice. And I loved "My Belinda" - the "fun with words" rhyming reminds me of Sondheim - really. Lovely duet, by the way. And we get another take on the "Bougainvillea Waltz," a song that really grows on you the more you hear it.
I like this CD very much, and I like "Boy Howdy" very much too. So, I'm not going to pick which is my favorite Jay Spears CD - they both are. You'll like them, too! And again - thanks for the music, Jay.