Album Review: The Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” (Capitol Records) 2012
The Beach Boys
“That’s Why God Made The Radio”
(Capitol Records, 2012)
In our continuing celebration of their 50th Anniversary – we bring you another review from The Beach Boys – their latest chapter – a new studio effort – “That’s Why God Made The Radio”….
The Beach Boys do it again by following in the tradition of their feel good and summertime musical sounds they became ever so famous for on their 2012 release “That’s Why God Made the Radio.” Trademark harmonies and lead vocalists Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine along with Bruce Johnston and David Marks crank out good vibrations for the 21st century. Amazingly, 50 years later the Beach Boys are still producing songs of timeless innocence and images of tropic isles with slight comparisons to Jimmy Buffet; for example, one of the most identifiable tracks of that genre, “Daybreak Over the Ocean” sung by Mike Love has an a la “Kokomo”feel to it.
Despite comparisons, all 12 songs on the album contain a mesh of the Beach Boys from “Pet Sounds” and the finally issued “Smile” as well as to other recordings made after 1966, “Friends”, “20/20”, and “M.I.U.” But with the 2011 release of the Beach Boys’ “Smile,” Brian Wilson and the band offer more on this album that so far surpasses the releases of the 1990s and various greatest hits or best of collections. The opening track is a fine example of what the listening public may have been missing, the beautiful and angelic renderings of “Think About the Days,” the most rock and roll and title track, “That’s Why God Made the Radio” that initially shows the outpouring of nostalgia and good times of the past and the present. Of course, there is n0 denying of the familiar chords and melodies of such songs like “Do it Again” that show up on the song “Isn’t it Time,” but who can blame the Boys since their sound derived from major musical influences of their childhood and adolescence. However, 50 years has passed along with personal experiences that helped to hone their sound. And with that in mind, the album is a collection of tunes compiled like a biographical scrapbook of calm and cool memories of driving the open road or having fun times in the sun but a small inkling of ironic experiences sprinkled within the mix. This may be heard in the tracks, “Summer’s Gone, “Strange World,” “Spring Vacation” and “Pacific Coast Highway,” and Jardine’s very boyish vocals of “From There to Back Again.”
“That’s Why God Made the Radio”has a song that may have the listener swaying or singing along with one of the most legendary rock and roll bands in musical history. And after hearing the album, possibly Beach Boys fans or a new generation of fans that may not have discovered their records after “Pet Sounds” may experience that wow moment that there is more to the Beach Boys beyond “Surfin’ Safari.” Indeed, Carl and Dennis may be looking down at the Boys giving their thumbs up or signs of hangin’ loose.
VIDEO:: The Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio”
VIDEO:: The Beach Boys Live 2012 Bonnaroo Festival – “Do It Again” / “Little Honda”