Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Beach Boys: That's Why God Made the Radio

"The Beach Boys strive to smile together through 'That’s Why God Made the Radio,' the reunion album tied to the band’s 50th-anniversary tour. This album could easily have been a throwaway. ... Instead, and sometimes despite itself, it’s a reflection on aging and memory, on longing and mortality. ... The album opens not with bouncy rock but with the wordless vocal harmonies and mournful descending chords of a track called 'Think About the Days.' Then the Beach Boys gear up a nostalgia machine: 'How about doing it just like yesterday,' they sing on 'Isn’t It Time,' which goes on to insist, 'The good times they aren’t only in the past' on the way to 'doo-be-doobie-doobie' harmonies. But after [Mike] Love pushes for optimism in 'Daybreak Over the Ocean' and 'Beaches in Mind' ... the last stretch of the album turns to [Brian] Wilson’s more autumnal visions and meandering, pop-defying structures. In 'Strange World' he sees 'the uninvited who’ve lost their way' on the Santa Monica pier. 'From There to Back Again,' a wishful, piano-centered ballad that turns into a minisuite, wonders, 'Why don’t we feel the way we used to anymore?'; near the end Mr. Wilson sings, 'We had a lot to live, we gave it all'" (Jon Pareles, "Another Solstice in an Endless Summer," New York Times, 6/4/12).

View catalog record here!


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