The Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made The Radio
I was wanting to write a fantastic review about the return of The Beach Boys. Instead I wrote this.
The nostalgia cash in tours that are the bread and butter of the stars of yesteryear are equally loved and loathed by many.
I don’t personally have an axe to grind with them.
If people want to see their heroes then go for it.
If not, then no one is forcing them to purchase a ticket so what is the problem?
It really is that simple, and often I’m at a loss why people get rather heated under the collar about these tours.
Especially when the artist, or band, release new material and don’t strictly rely on the hits from the past to sell tickets, as we have seen with The Beach Boys and their forthcoming tour.
The pull of the living members reuniting to play would have been strong enough for many, especially here in the UK, but the release of a new album to coincide with the live dates is the icing on the cake.
Especially as it is a bloody good album.
Not a great album, but a good one.
Don’t expect galloping upbeat fun in the sun tracks as these guys aren’t twenty any more, but what you should prepare yourself for is the lush harmonies and orchestral flairs that the band were known for when Brian Wilson was firmly at the helm.
Something that isn’t actually a surprise as much of ‘That’s Why God Made the Radio’ has been penned by him.
The album opens with Think About The Days and that immediately sets a timeless tone.
Without singing one single word the band harmonise over a solitary piano and remind us all of why they are legends.
There’s a delicate beauty that pervades the short track, and in a matter of seconds they manage to imprint everything that we could want from them into it.
This is The Beach Boys.
As the debut single off the album reveals itself, it also manges to showcase that Brian Wilson as a lyricist hasn’t completely lost it.
Admittedly there some self referencing in the song that that feels clunky, and as the album continues they seem to have sadly made a theme of it.
Some may say that they are using the modern tracks to advertise those of the past, and they might have a point, but I’m not going to feel sullied by them doing that, even if it is the case.
Neither am I going to bitch about the sometimes schmaltzy mix as it is a minor distraction, and to focus on the negatives would distract from the many positives that far outweigh them.
Instead I can hand on heart say that as long as no one expects a Pet Sounds then I doubt that they will be disappointed.
However if they are expecting a Pet Sounds 2 then disappointment does await.
This has to be approached sans rose tinted shades.
It’s entirely possible that the album is full of tracks that will fit in comfortably with their latter sixties material in a live setting.
Fingers crossed that this is where they will really come to life.
That they will transform from being very good to magnificent.
If they carry the full orchestra, as Brian did when he toured with Pet Sounds and Smile, then I suspect that those who are lucky enough to attend the shows will not feel that this material will stick out that much at all.
Instead, with an admitted degree of wishful thinking, the songs will find a comfortable balance in the set list, and everyone will be able to sit back, close their eyes and let what the Beach Boys do wash over them.
Now I have the album all I need is the ticket. Anyone with deep pockets want to help me out?