on July 9, 2004
A glowing and impossibly warm sort of magic fills your soul as you listen to Pet Sounds, and amazing beauty seems to envelope you, embrace you. Pet Sounds is the sound of a man baring his soul, a beautiful sound that is fragile and innocent as well as hard and dissilusioned.
Brian Wilson grew up on Pet Sounds, and finally came into the genius for which he is now known. Gone are the endless references to surfing, cars, and superficial love. The lyrics here are deep and powerful, emotional on levels I never knew existed. The oppening song "Wouldn't it be Nice" is an incredibly passionate song of love, in which Wilson yearns for an affair he cannot have, because alas, he is to young. The song gets you caught up in the emotion and serves as a perfect template for the rest of the album.
Every song is also an instantly memorable classic. "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" is tuneful and sweet, and has a magestic, lilting, chorus that always brings a smile to my face. "That's Not Me" tells the story of an innocent young man swept up by his hopes and dreams, and his eventual coming of age. "I Know There's An Answer" has an epic chorus line. "Caroline No" is a sweet and tragic story of the end of adolescent innocence and the harshness of the adult world.
But what truly makes Pet Sounds brilliant is the music. Every single song is a veritible symphony, with multitudes of instruments and notes that rise to castles in the sky. The music sets the tone perfectly. It is low and lamentful on the sadder songs, apologetic and hopeful on songs of regret, and uplifting and epic on songs of happiness. The music of Pet Sounds can sweep you up in overwelming emotions and take you on a journy through every passionate feeling there is. It's definatley a ride worth taking.
on April 19, 2004
I was first introduced to Pet Sounds when i bought the album used at a cd store, i had heard all the hype about it, but i always stereotyped it as wierd kind of like a later beatles album. At the time i was not into that kind of music, but damn how that changed as i got older. The first time i listened to this whole cd from start to finish i was like is that it? what is all the hype about. I didnt understand what all the fuss was about. So i buried the cd in my cd rack and didn't even think about it for a few years. As i got older i started getting in relationships and went through hard breakups and even fell in love. During all these changes in my life i decided to polish off the old pet sounds and give it another chance. and BANG, it opened pathways in my mind that i never knew existed. What a beautiful album by Brian Wilson, i couldnt put how beautiful these sounds i was hearing were and i couldn't understand how much sense it made to me now as opposed to a few years earlier.
I soon realized that the music was reflecting my life, and what is so cool is that this music was made in the mid sixties, and almost 40 years later it still have an impact on someones life like the way it did on mine. One song that definitly stands out in my mind is "God Only Knows" I can only hope that someday i have a wife that is also my best friend and i can play this song for them, because i do beleive it is the most beautiful lyrics i have ever heard. And it is so simplistic. "wouldnt it be nice" too is a beautiful dreamy song that im sure we all once experienced about being with someone you just think you could be with forever and you wish you didnt have to wait 8 or so years to finally be in that place. I am so thankful that brian wilson created pet sounds because it has redefined and reshaped my whole perspective on life. if you can tell, this cd is bigger then life for me, i hope this album can do something for you also.
on April 17, 2004
This is a exciting Beach Boys album and this is hailed a rock masterpiece by all the rock critics but they suck but I will recommend it.This album came out in 1966 and even the Beatles said "How are ye gonna top this mates".I give props to Mr.Cranky for his reviews one man with the balls to say what he thinks and everyone is going nuts about it that would be good.
1.Would'nt be nice-This one is a classic 10/10
2.You still believe in me-This one was pretty good 10/10
3.Thats Not me-This one was entertaining 9/10
4.Thats Talk(Put your head on my shoulder)-Great 10/10
5.Im wrating for the Day-This one is pretty good 10/10
6.Go Away for a while-Beautiful instrumental 10/10
7.Sloop John B-This one is another classic 10/10
8.God only Knows-This one was called the best song written 10/10
9.I Know theres Answer-This is short but sweet 10/10
10.Here Today-This one was good. 9/10
11.I just wasn't made for these times-Good 8/10
12.Pet Sounds-Another Instrumental that is great 10/10
13.Carolina No-This is the last official song 10/10 Has Dogs
14.Hold on to your ego-This is a good song 10/10
15-27 Crappy Remastered songs my dad likes I don't.
This album was produced by Brian Wilson but this should have included Good Vibrations but still it is very good album.
Lyrics 10 Production 10 Music 10 Style 10 Voice 10
Overall=50/50 Almost a perfect album still sounds Fresh in 04
on March 31, 2004
Two essential Beach Boys CD's are out - the "Sounds Of Summer" greatest hits package, the best Beach Boys compilation ever, and the majestic "Pet Sounds", Brian Wilson's masterpiece. Wilson didn't tour while preparing this opus, and used session players with the exception of the vocals. After all, nobody could harmonize better than his own band.
What he delivered was a collection of the most beautiful pop music ever assembled on one album. Studio effects add ambience and a slight touch of the avant garde, but the songs themselves are the true gems.
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" with its impeccable harmonies and melody is one of the greatest songs ever, and Wilson tops that with one of the saddest but gorgeous songs ever with "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." The whole album is so good that it should go on forever. Reaching the ballad "Caroline, No" is a musical journey that does not last nearly long enough, thus guaranteeing this album's playability for a long long time after buying it.
If another civilization were to ask me to give them one reason why this planet with all its hatred shouldn't be charred to a cinder, I'd play them "Pet Sounds". Maybe they'd let us off the hook for a while.
on March 8, 2004
If you've made it to this page, you've probably heard a lot of people tell you about the historical significance of this album and it's influence, etc. But what's overlooked is that the Beach Boys are still the Beach Boys- only they sound even better than they did before. It's not the "left field" classic people seem to think it is, it's just a great bunch of songs everyone should like- because who doesn't like the Beach Boys, at least as a guilty pleasure? I suppose you could sum this up as nothing more than the Beach Boys beginning to realize that there's more to life than surfing, but before the point where the music became as much about drugs as it once was about surfing. The result: the very best of the Beach Boys. It's also a plus to have the mono and stereo versions, because it's difficult to decide which is better- the mono version sounds better at first, but on the stereo version it's nice to hear the sounds in more detail. There's a reason the Rolling Stones took out an ad in a London newspaper telling people to buy "Pet Sounds," and why Paul McCartney still says "God Only Knows" is his favorite song. Even the cheesy intrumentals can't bring the rest of the album down- that's what the skip button was invented for.
on March 2, 2004
For those that say they "don't get it". You have to understand at that point in time when this album was released no one had ever tried any of the things that The Beach Boys IE: Brian Wilson tried that was/is "Pet Sounds". I hear a lot of babble from those that "don't it get" that it sounds like bland harmonizing vocals, etc etc. The album is a masterpiece simply because of the daring arrangements. The use of sounds that no one at that time had thought of using in the way that they were used. The drum work. You can hear how Ringo Starr was influenced on Sgt Peppers. You can hear how the use of "samples" IE: the sound of the train at the end of "Caroline NO" was used on Sgt Peppers. Or the beginning of "God Only Knows"... go listen to "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" off Sgt Peppers and you will hear where the influence for the beginning of that song started. These are things that make this album special, they were the 1st band to try things like this using those sounds. The arrangements themselves of the songs are just simply brilliant, they can actually be compared to Classical. The brilliance of "Sloop John B" go listen to the ballad of "John & Yoko", or "Ob Li Di Ob Li Da" and you can hear an influence of this song in those songs! The Beach Boys created brilliance. Those who do not get it are not listening or do not understand the history of music. For those who have not heard this album and are wondering if you will enjoy it. All I can tell you is to ask yourself first how much are you into musicology and if you have an open mind.
on February 22, 2004
Before I say anything else, I must say this. Acappella singing, which is what a lot of this is, is very hard indeed. Very few people can do this at all, it takes a lot of training, and if you havn't got absolute pitch, it's even harder, and this is the reason why bands such as the beach boys are so very unusual. OK.
The first time I heard this, oddly enough, was in the USA, strange for an English 15 year old. We were staying in a very tiny place, called Gig Harbor, near Seattle. It was odd because while now it's built up and expensive, back then it was a collection of tiny shacks near a river. We were staying with our aunt, and I made friends with a guy next door, also 15, called Don. He had a record player (lucky bloke), and a cat who had a huge fat tummy (strange how you remember these things), he wanted to join the Marines when he got older... and he played me Pet Sounds. Never heard it before, although it was familiar enough in parts. We stayed there in the area a few weeks, made friends with folks who ran the Pentecostal church over the other side of the river. Wonderful. They were like the Waltons, only there were more of them. We were very lucky to see all of this - very lucky. We had stayed in a tiny house in a small town in Lancashire up until that point, and that was our view of a much larger world. I have always loved America after that time.
What I am trying to say is that the Beach Boys for me was always associated with that place, those wonderful people, and sadly.... the impossibility of getting back. My Aunt died before we could go back, I don't have the mailing address of those guys anymore... and it was three whole decades ago.
To witness - the Beach boys have this quality to nearly everyone of expressing the very essence, if it were feasible, of yearning for the impossible. In fact, this may be the closest one ever gets to this in a civilisation. They paint a picture that cannot HELP but move your heart towards some kind of sweet inaccessible place that we all know about, and everyone must surely know that that sensation is certainly seems real for practically everyone but... nearly always slips away, like a dream that just isn't possible.
I'm too old; it's too far away; it couldn't really be. And yet it is. Brian Wilson surely conjures up some amazing stuff here that is magic, longing without becoming, whistful, impossible, wonderful. Some of my friends in England finally got hold of this and a few (five or so) of us sat round and listened to it. It was odd because we were smelly, scruffy and untidy and dumb and we listened to it after something else by Emerson Lake and Palmer and after that, I mean everybody went dead quiet, almost like we had been in church, or something.
It's so easy to go the USA now, lots of people do it, but still, you might even go to California now and only see or feel this stuff as though it was the shiny patches in the distance on a hot road, real, but distant, testifying to the real but illusive, catch me if you can, and we all feel old, kind of sad, but immensely grateful somehow. That's all I can say really, it's great stuff, but somehow I wish...
on February 21, 2004
This album is not a quintessential Beach Boys product, as it's not classic 'surfing music'. And, in my opinion, it's not better than Beatles 'Rubber Soul' (who certainly was Brian Wilson's inspiration), 'Revolver' (that was released in the same year, 1966) and 'Sgt. Pepper's' (who certainly was inspired to Paul McCartney by it), as someone claims.
Anyway I consider it one of the best product ever in pop/rock history. Result of a very long period of work, it's the artistic peak of Brian Wilson's mind. This collection of awesome songs was not successful as older albums, but nowadays no one could deny it's a real masterpiece. It's based on brilliant vocal harmonies (Beach Boys' trademark), good orchestration and strong melodies (although in some cases they sound little repetitive).
'Wouldn't It Be Nice', 'Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulders)', 'God Only Knows' and the final 'Caroline No' are my favourite tunes (although I ask myself why the last one is so short). The instrumental tracks ('Let's Go Away For Awhile' and 'Pet Sounds') are nice but not particularly impressive. The remaining songs set the mood very well.
I admit 'I'm Waiting For The Day' and 'I Know There's An Answer' sound too similar and 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times' never impressed me that much, but this album, taken as a whole, is more than the sum of its parts. It deserves 5 stars and I suggest you to buy it. If you like Sixties approach to pop music, you won't be disappointed.
on February 8, 2004
I often write about heart and soul when reviewing cds, describing the enormous effort musicians put into their works. Certainly there are many bands and singers who have devoted their lives to music, but never, ever have I heard an album that is remotely close to the breathtaking Pet Sounds, as far as work ethic, creativity, perseverence, and in the end, pure perfection.
Many people liken Pet Sounds to The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album. People often criticize Sgt. Pepper for taking its influence from the primordial Pet Sounds, but the fact that Brian Wilson was first inspired to make Pet Sounds after he heard Rubber Soul is often overlooked. Here's what he said in the liner notes: "In December of 1965, I heard the album Rubber Soul by the Beatles. It was definitely a challenge for me. I saw that every cut was very artistically interesting and stimulating. I immediately went to work on the songs for Pet Sounds." As a huge fan of both the Beatles and the Beach Boys, I find it absolutely wonderful and riveting that the two biggest bands from across the seas were involved in somewhat of an artistic spar; one which ended up helping both bands produce some of their greatest music.
As far as the individual songs of this album, there are no highs and lows. Pet Sounds stays at a steady constant of brilliance, sounding at an uncalibrated musical high. From the swirling harmonies of the opening Wouldn't It Be Nice to the wonderful coda of Hang On To Your Ego, this recording is thoroughly enjoyable. My personal favorites are Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows and I Just Wasn't Made For These Times. To wrap things up with a hackneyed yet appropiate cliche, your music collection is incomplete without Pet Sounds.
on January 27, 2004
*Pet Sounds* is a record that does not demand exposition: for the most part, if you need to know about it you already knew about it, and perhaps it is also a cultural product which does not improve upon closer inspection (I am not now nor have I ever been in possession of the box set edition, and frankly the similar release for *Fun House* intrigues me more). But as such it is still something of a boundary marker for first-line popular culture, and although it has had its periods of veneration its reputation actually may not outlast its original audience. It's frequently debated whether this is a better record that *Sgt. Pepper*, but quite rarely mentioned that to a very great extent *this was the Beatles' idea*: Wilson's use of Phil Spector's "Wrecking Crew" to make a singular record (with enough input from others, as Tony Asher's slightly listing vocals make clear) really set the stage, not for "true wizards and stars", but for moment-defining records not *advertising* their "superproductivity". And although *a lot* of people got ideas from this record, its speaks to its cultural function that most would be not at all inclined to hold this against it as an entertainment and somewhat against the present that such "popular sublimity" is rather definitely not allowed.