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Orange Crate Art

Brian & Van Dyke Parks Wilson Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.95
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Orange Crate Art
2. Sail Away
3. My Hobo Heart
4. Wings Of A Dove
5. Palm Tree And Moon
6. Summer In Monterey
7. San Francisco
8. Hold Back Time
9. My Jeanie
10. Movies Is Magic
11. This Town Goes Down At Sunset
12. Lullaby

Product Description


Here is a view of the Golden State through rose-colored glasses that's as effervescent and intoxicating as pink champagne. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks trade the roles they occupied nearly three decades ago when they collaborated on songs for the Beach Boys' great lost album, Smile. Orange Crate Art was conceived and overseen by Parks, who brought his old boss Wilson aboard chiefly to give voice to Parks's wistful song cycle. Given that much of the album is set in California, who better than favorite son Wilson to sing these songs? But while Wilson's voice initially evokes images of hot rods and surfboards, here he sings of locomotives and steamboats. Parks's California is a state of mind where time is ephemeral. We're brought to a bucolic yesteryear unmarred by violence and poverty. Orange Crate Art is set in "a world apart." A "hobo heart" is carefree rather than desperate. Time is something to be held back. "Everybody must come home" to a town that shuts down by 8 in the evening because "everybody's got things to do." When all is said and done, there's nothing left but doze off to Parks's pop symphonic arrangement of George Gershwin's "Lullaby." --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A place to start June 20 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is a Van Dyke Parks album about California. Parks brought in his old friend Brian Wilson to sing the lead vocals. And why not? Wilson is a much better singer than Parks, and who better than Brian to sing a concept album about California? It works well, and fans of Brian and/or Van Dyke should enjoy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brian's Best Since Pet Sounds April 17 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Could be the closest thing Brian will ever come to Pet Sounds. Really these songs could have made the best Beach Boys Album since PS. Both albums have such, tightly crafted songs and great themeatic cohesion. And Brian, Wow...he sings better than anthing he's ever attempted vocally as a solo artist. This is absolutely wonderful material and brillently produced by Brian Wilson.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Meringue April 19 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album is meringue, battenburg cake and candyfloss, very sickly and bad for the teeth. Tastes real good for the first ten minutes, then you gradually start turning green and queasy as the endless nostalgic melodies, orchestras and monotonous Brian Wilson harmonies flow on and on, and you realise it's gonna be like this for the whole 47 minutes. I speak as a fervent Brian Wilson fan, but this is a Van Dyke Parks album, make no mistake. He wrote and arranged everything, then craftily conned Brian into singing it all, then peddled it as a collaboration, making sure that Brian's name appeared first on the credits. An album in praise of the rich white Californian lifestyle of the fabulous fifties and soaraway sixties. Never is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy or grey. It's a happy album, but the happiness is of the big-toothpaste-advert-smile variety, the kind you see on holiday brochures, all those folks having so much fun fun fun. Some of the songs might have been rescued from their aggravatingness if Brian hadn't chosen to layer a million vocal tracks over everything, making all the harmonies sound identical, and therefore soulless - and this is Brian we're talking about, who knows ALL about what harmony can do. But he probably knew that if he tried any harder with this stuff it'd just be wasted effort. Skip this one and proceed to Live at the Roxy by Brian or Song Cycle by Van Dyke Parks (now there's a genuinely strange record).
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Very Glad I Found This CD... April 10 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album has a sublime effect on the listener. I loved it from the very first play. It is full of references to California's rich cultural history and serves as somthing of a time capsule to an idylic version of the Golden State's formative years. If you want an album that will make you feel good and put a smile on your face this is the one. Some may find it a bit corny but I think it is WON-WON-WONDERFUL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music to save my soul.... March 6 2002
Format:Audio CD
1994 and 1995 had been a very difficult, tumultuous year for my family. We had two small children and then some financial setbacks, etc. By late 95 things were looking up and this album has come to symbolize that optomistic change of direction. My whole family loves this album including my kids , who were 5 and 2 respectively when we began playing it. The vocals are gorgeous and the lyrics and arrangements are sublime. It has been played 100 times around our house and we never get tired of it. It's also our favorite summer road trip album. I can't wait for another just like it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one if you like music Feb. 8 2002
Format:Audio CD
I've still haven't figured out why I like this album this much. I've got a large selection of CD's, album and singles from classical to hard rock and for some reason this CD is the one that I play most often. It's melodious, smooth (without being musak), but mainly it's just beautiful. Van Dyke Parks' compositions ar fantastic and Brian Wilson's voice sublime. What much more could you want?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Parks & Wilson Make Magic Again Jan. 12 2002
Format:Audio CD
I've been a Brian Wilson fan for the past 25 years, so naturally I've followed VDP's career a little bit as well. Of the few past VDP albums I've heard, "JUMP!" was my favourite - that is until this one came along. I don't know how to describe the music - it has strong traces of jazz, calypso, pop, broadway, etc. It defies categorisation but, what the hell, it's sheer great music from someone who's better known as a lyricist than a tune-crafter. The arrangements are brilliant, the musicianship is excellent, the harmonies are immaculate (further demonstration that Brian doesn't need the other BB's) and Brian's lead vocals are spot-on. I think the CD is worth buying even if only for the title track.
It's my most played album over the last 5 years. I pray for more Wilson-Parks collaborations in future. Whichever of them is writing the music, there seems to be magic when they work together. Popular music needs this kind of stuff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive Nostalgia April 14 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a wonderful CD, a nostalgic look at living in the California of the '40's and '50's. But, despite the nostalgia, this CD is chock full of inventive and clever lyrics, arrangements, vocals, and tunes -- the boys put their own spin on all sorts of musical genres, all, that is, except rock and roll. It's wonderfully melodic and laid-back music, but never bland, and the consistently best set of music that either Van Dyke or Brian has put together in decades.
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