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).