- Audio CD (June 22 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Rhino-Atlantic
- ASIN: B00028HBMA
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
|1. How Could We Still Be Dancin' - with Elton John|
|2. Soul Searchin' - with Carl Wilson|
|3. You've Touched me|
|4. Gettin' In Over My Head|
|5. City Blues - with Eric Clapton|
|6. Desert Drive|
|7. A Friend Like You - Paul McCartney|
|8. Make A Wish|
|9. Rainbow Eyes|
|10. Saturday Morning In The City|
|11. Fairy Tale|
|12. Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel|
|13. The Waltz|
Sure, it's standard old-guy rock (plodding tempos, embarrassing guest stars, etc.) but I'm an old guy too. The harmonies are fine, maybe not as excellent as prime Beach Boys; so are the melodies. And with all the touring he's done lately, Brian Wilson seems to be in better voice. My buddy and I were lucky enough to meet him and get our CDs signed in Sherman Oaks in June, and Brian still seems very shy.
Bottom line: songs like "How Can We Keep On Dancin'" and the Pet Sounds-flavored title tune are highlights. Best song on the album is "Soul Searchin'" a duet with Brian's late brother Carl, it does bring back the old shiver you get when you hear a great Beach Boys tune. I also like the sheer goofiness of songs like "Desert Drive" (kind of reminiscent of "409") and "Saturday Morning in the City (reminds me of "Busy Doin' Nothin')."
So what if most of the lyrics are silly and banal; I like to think they're "childlike." Nonetheless, Paul McCartney's guest shot on "A Friend Like You," while charming, is a waste.
But it's summer -- kick off your shoes and turn it up. Enjoy the season, and this moment of Brian Wilson's new music. The weather will change, soon enough.
The best song, "Don't let her know she's an angel", comes from the aborted Sweet Insanity album, and I'm not sure the production here is an improvement on what came out then. The Elton John cooperation isn't bad, but the Paul McCartney one is a forgettable song in which McCartney's contribution amounts to singing the same 5-word phrase over and over again. Honestly - is "A friend like you" the sort of song you'd expect from Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney? "The Waltz" sounds like parody, whilst "Soul Searchin'" isn't bad.
Of course, there are some good musical ideas on this album, and it's not the sort of album you just remove from your playlist; however, it compares poorly to other Brian Wilson material. The production sounds rushed and even wrong on some tracks (country-style violins on a Brian Wilson record? Aaaargh!!!), and is far from the polished, solid sound which made even the fillers on, say, Imagination distinctive.
It almost looks like the cd booklet's introduction by David Leaf was aimed at trying to "sell" and hype a disappointing record.
By 1998's Imagination - actually signs were apparent in the Don Was documentary "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" - love had rekindled the muse and Brian, new wife and kids in tow, began to manifest the accomplishment of having somehow reached critical mass in his resilient and relentless pursuit of survival, justifying his ongoing existence with the purpose of writing music to heal the hearts of modern people. While the arrangements on Imagination were often a bit tooslick and tamely "adult," a lot of the tunes, the title track in particular, were right in the pocket, particularly the vocals, certainly up with the best of his material.
Fast-forward to a couple of years later and Brian now had the band in addition to the family. He began to exude more confidence, even venturing back into live shows, which his fans have adored, despite the well documented stiffness and socially awkward moments.Read more ›