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View Full Version : The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made the Radio


Alvis
06-03-12, 07:19 AM
No thread for this? Oh well, it may not be any good, but after listening to the sample on Amazon, I am cautiously optimistic.

Drops June 5, 2012

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61apT9atXjL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

01 – Think About The Days
02 – That’s Why God Made The Radio
03 – Isn’t It Me
04 – Spring Vacation
05 – The Private Life Of Bill And Sue
06 – Shelter
07 – Daybreak Over The Ocean
08 – Beaches In Mind
09 – Strange World
10 – From There To Back Again
11 – Pacific Coast Highway
12 – Summer’s Gone

The Beach Boys: That's Why God Made the Radio – review (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/may/31/beach-boys-thats-why-review)

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

There's some rotten stuff on it too, but parts of the Beach Boys' new album seem like the perfect way to end to their story
3 out of 5

It's easy to be sceptical about the Beach Boys' reunion. Indeed, if you look at the messageboards, diehard fans seem the most distrustful of the lot, which figures: for all the warmth and open-heartedness of the band's best music, if there's one thing being a Beach Boys fan teaches you, it's scepticism. There are only so many times you can be told Brian Wilson has been restored to full physical and mental health, the better to make himself and a lot of other people a great deal of money, before you develop what the Clash called a "bullshit detector", and Beach Boys fans have been told that on a regular basis – and with a great deal of evidence to the contrary – for the last 36 years.

Anyone looking to the music itself to check for signs of cynicism need only turn to Spring Vacation. It opens with a verse in which Mike Love claims to be "living the dream … cruisin' the town, diggin' the scene". The Beach Boys' music has often involved a suspension of disbelief – all those songs depicting a perfect, gilded California youth, written by a man whose own youth had been mired in physical and mental abuse – but this seems to push unreality to its limit. You find yourself wondering why on earth a 71-year-old would be cruisin' the town and diggin' the scene: perhaps he's plannin' on askin' them to keep the noise down so an old man can get some rest. Then it moves on to the subject of the reunion itself: "We're back together, easy money," he sings, as indeed you might if, after years of playing fairgrounds and casinos, you found yourself shifting $70m [£45m) of concert tickets simply by hooking up with the cousin you have spent most of the last 20 years suing. "All I can say is, we're havin' a blast!" he offers, which isn't what a recent profile in Newsweek – depicting Brian Wilson "in various stages of distress" on stage with the band – suggested.

If the lyrics are disingenuous, the song itself isn't up to much, the music slick but unremarkable. The first two-thirds of the album passes in similarly ho-hum style, notwithstanding the wordless introduction, Think About the Days, which is beautiful. The title track is a decent pastiche of Wilson in his prime, its cascading chorus equal parts Kiss Me Baby and John Barry's Theme from Midnight Cowboy; The Private Life of Bill and Sue, however, a satire on reality TV, makes you want to curl up and die of embarrassment.

But just as you're about to dismiss the album entirely, something extraordinary happens. The final three tracks – From There to Back Again, Pacific Coast Highway and Summer's Gone – form a kind of suite that is easily the best thing Brian Wilson has put his name to in the last 30 years. Episodic, occasionally lapsing into silence, filled with shifts in tempo, the melodies impossibly beautiful, it takes the melancholy at the heart of Wilson's greatest work – from Pet Sounds to Til I Die – and repurposes it. In contrast to the rest of the album, which relies on creaky nostalgia, it concerns itself with ageing ("sunlight's fading and there's not much to say", sings Wilson on Pacific Coast Highway), death and the Beach Boys' legacy. "Our dreams hold on for those who still have more to say … it's time to go," offers Summer's Gone, undercutting all the gung-ho, we're-havin'-a-blast guff that comes before it in the same way the wistful, autumnal intro to California Girls seemed at odds with that song's sunkissed lechery. Wilson's vocals sound engaged with the subject, which seems faintly incredible given that on every other recent record he's made, he's sounded like a man forced at gunpoint to read his lyrics off a broken autocue.

For all its flaws, That's Why God Made the Radio is an infinitely better way for the Beach Boys' story to end than their last album of new recordings, 1992's disastrous country outing Stars and Stripes Vol 1, or indeed the last album that bore their name – Mike Love, Bruce Johnston & David Marks of the Beach Boys salute NASCAR – on which the trio rerecorded old hits for the benefit of a chain of US petrol stations. Exquisite beauty nestles alongside stuff that's wildly misjudged, painful honesty alongside the constant burnishing of a myth about youth and sunshine and a California that everyone stopped believing years ago, the whole thing wrapped in stories of non-existent fraternity, harmony and good vibrations: it's the Beach Boys in a nutshell. Perhaps without realising it, That's Why God Made the Radio tells you almost everything you need to know about America's Favourite Band.

The Bus
06-03-12, 08:28 AM
For a few years in my early life, I thought the biggest hit by the Beach Boys was "Kokomo"; I expect a hit radio single from this album to cause the same confusion with a new generation of youngsters.

Alvis
06-03-12, 01:01 PM
For a few years in my early life, I thought the biggest hit by the Beach Boys was "Kokomo"; I expect a hit radio single from this album to cause the same confusion with a new generation of youngsters.

It would be nice to see them get a hit single in 2012, but I would be surprised if they did.

Alan Smithee
06-03-12, 01:08 PM
God has killed the radio at this point.

KaBluie
06-03-12, 04:10 PM
They need to take on old age like they took on youth. They should do a Little Deuce Coupe like song about the Hoveround or a Good Vibrations like song about Viagra.

Decker
06-06-12, 09:07 AM
It's dropped to $4.99 (http://www.amazon.com/Thats-Why-God-Made-Radio/dp/B0083GCK5G/ref=pd_ts_zgc_dmusic_digital_music_album_display_on_website_10?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&pf_rd_p=1297165762&pf_rd_s=right-5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=163856011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0GE4H5SC9FD6JX2Q32J3) for the MP3 version on Amazon. I'm tempted.

Alvis
06-06-12, 10:05 AM
It's dropped to $4.99 (http://www.amazon.com/Thats-Why-God-Made-Radio/dp/B0083GCK5G/ref=pd_ts_zgc_dmusic_digital_music_album_display_on_website_10?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&pf_rd_p=1297165762&pf_rd_s=right-5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=163856011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0GE4H5SC9FD6JX2Q32J3) for the MP3 version on Amazon. I'm tempted.

I've only made it through the first 5 songs, but enjoying it so far. The intro is fantastic.

JeremyM
06-06-12, 05:52 PM
The intro and the last 4 songs are almost as good as anything Brian Wilson has ever done. In all honesty. In between your results may vary (I like most of it, particularly Shelter) but the last 4 songs, wow.

Supermallet
06-06-12, 08:26 PM
I'll take a listen for the first track and last batch of songs. Didn't realize Brian Wilson was on board for this.

auto
06-06-12, 09:39 PM
Really enjoying this. Would be a fitting swan song.

rocket1312
06-07-12, 03:53 PM
I've only listened through once, but it's definitely a solid album. I agree with the general consensus that the last batch of songs are the highlight (I believe they are left over tracks from Brian's Imagination era). The first 2/3rds of the album are hit and miss (I enjoy the title track and Shelter) and the lyrics can be a bit cringe worthy at times, but overall it's a pleasant listening experience.

On a side note, if anyone has the opportunity to catch the band on their current reunion tour, I highly recommend it. I'm a casual Beach Boys fan at most (I love Pet Sounds and Smile and have started to get into their other stuff), but I had a blast. They are definitely showing their age and you should expect to hear a bum note or two from everyone not named Al Jardine (who sounds exactly the same as he did in the 60's), but this thing could have been a catastrophe and instead it's one of the most enjoyable shows I've ever been to. Brian seems disinterested and uninvolved at times, but I think that's just the way he is. Based on reviews I've read, he seems to be loosening up more and more as the tour has gone on. My favorite random moment was definitely during Kokomo when Brian completely checked out. He just kind of sat there staring off into the distance. Of course Kokomo is really their only hit without Brian's involvement and I got the impression that he doesn't think much of the song.

Alvis
06-08-12, 06:15 AM
I've only listened through once, but it's definitely a solid album. I agree with the general consensus that the last batch of songs are the highlight (I believe they are left over tracks from Brian's Imagination era). The first 2/3rds of the album are hit and miss (I enjoy the title track and Shelter) and the lyrics can be a bit cringe worthy at times, but overall it's a pleasant listening experience.

On a side note, if anyone has the opportunity to catch the band on their current reunion tour, I highly recommend it. I'm a casual Beach Boys fan at most (I love Pet Sounds and Smile and have started to get into their other stuff), but I had a blast. They are definitely showing their age and you should expect to hear a bum note or two from everyone not named Al Jardine (who sounds exactly the same as he did in the 60's), but this thing could have been a catastrophe and instead it's one of the most enjoyable shows I've ever been to. Brian seems disinterested and uninvolved at times, but I think that's just the way he is. Based on reviews I've read, he seems to be loosening up more and more as the tour has gone on. My favorite random moment was definitely during Kokomo when Brian completely checked out. He just kind of sat there staring off into the distance. Of course Kokomo is really their only hit without Brian's involvement and I got the impression that he doesn't think much of the song.

I thought Brian might sing Carl's part in Kokomo, but I guess not?

Can't tell in the videos I've see so far.

rocket1312
06-08-12, 09:16 AM
I thought Brian might sing Carl's part in Kokomo, but I guess not?

Can't tell in the videos I've see so far.

I believe it was Scott Totten who sang Carl's part. I was a little disappointed whenever one of the backing band sang a lead. It was mostly limited to any of the songs with falsetto leads that Brian obviously cannot sing any more, but there were 1 or 2 others thrown in there.

nando820
06-14-12, 04:13 PM
The newest single is such a beautifully melancholic piece. A swan song alas "Real Love" to an amazing band.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yg8QqwWb3RI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Chadm
06-27-12, 07:59 PM
I couldn't find any other thread about this, but does anyone know if the current Beach Boys tour is Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston? Or just Mike Love, Bruce Johnston? I'd pay good money to see all 4. But just not the Mike Love show.

JANK
06-27-12, 08:29 PM
I liked it quite a bit. It is a real good solid effort. Kudos!

auto
06-28-12, 06:17 AM
I couldn't find any other thread about this, but does anyone know if the current Beach Boys tour is Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston? Or just Mike Love, Bruce Johnston? I'd pay good money to see all 4. But just not the Mike Love show.

It's all four.

rocket1312
06-28-12, 09:37 PM
It's all four.

It's actually five. Don't forget David Marks.

And I mentioned it above, but I highly recommend their current tour. They're pretty old and it's not perfect, but it blows the doors off of anything Mike and Bruce would put on.