It was a difficult time period for The Beach Boys. After the phenomenal critical and commercial success of Pet Sounds, the main man behind it all Brian Wilson attempted to create the perfect pop album. Instead of the Smile album being released, Brian Wilson had yet another mental breakdown around mid-1967, quite possibly after Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band by The Beatles was released, taking down their contemporaries in its wake.
This album is a compromise to the events that occurred, much like the Smiley Smile album also released in 1967 was. Despite all that, The Beach Boys still had some songs and musical tricks up their sleeve, so here we go.
First off, Wild Honey begins with awesome keyboard and theremin sounds, along with bongos. It’s all tasty sonically, and great singing to boot. It is so 1960s here that one wishes to take a trip back through time to the year 1967 and chill with some surfing hippies. The keyboard solo here is original and brilliant too.
Next is the brilliant sounding Aren’t You Glad. It’s pure romanticism and trippy soundscapes combined, totally late 1960s here. It may not sound as professional as Pet Sounds, but it’s still a great and chilled listen. The whole piece is surprisingly excellent, and good to listen to.
I Was Made To Love Her is a great number about eternal love. A great number, and so far, an underrated album and listen. The songs are nice and short, they never lose their consistency or appeal. Not a bad effort considering what was going on with Brian Wilson at the time.
Country Air is a relaxed and fresh (even today) sounding piece about a simpler and more idealistic lifestyle that people used to cherish back in the day. As the world becomes more urbanized, so does the loss of things cherished in the past. It’s a good little number, with some awesome picturesque sounds and production. Great stuff.
Next is the mellow A Thing Or Two, which revisits the melancholy of Pet Sounds. This still sounds amazing musically today, although this is obviously not the best album by The Beach Boys. All you need is love though, and this album certainly deals with romantic themes very well. As underrated as modern artists are overrated. Gentle.
Following that is Darlin’. This is a really solid and excellent effort about strong feelings of love that one has. It has a great array of keyboard sounds and other cool musical breakdowns. It would be unsurprising if the hippies tripped out on LSD to this stuff, it is beautiful, colourful and gorgeous sounding music. It fades out gently.
I’d Love Just Once To See You is a poppy tune with sexual overtones. Forgive the rather lusty talk, it is a short and sweet tune for the album. The harmonies towards the end are brilliant. The lyrical climax right at the end is interesting, to say the least.
Here Comes The Night is a little less colourful, but still as consistent as the other tunes on this album. This album still shows distressed love themes from previous offerings, but it sounds beautiful, mellow and essential to hear. The melodies and harmonies are straight-up awesome. Nice tune.
Next is Let The Wind Blow. The Beach Boys deliver very well on this record, with the band putting a great performance out there. It has acoustic guitar and organ in the background. Top-quality music from the genius of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.
The upbeat How She Boogalooed It is next, being very uptempo and upbeat. It’s a nice addition to this great record. There is a variety of brilliant instrumentation and useful recording techniques here. Very much a great piece from a musical era long gone. But, don’t fear – the music here is quintessential.
Mama Says is just great, poetry sung by The Beach Boys without musical accompaniment. It finishes this very short, yet fantastic listen by the group. The voices of The Beach Boys are wonderful.
This album is totally underrated. It has not been served well by historians. That can – and should change right now. If you want an album of beautiful, colourful and brilliant music, this is always worth having in your collection.