By this point, it had been past the whole competition thing with The Beatles of the quest to make the perfect pop album. Instead, The Beach Boys struggled to find their own identity in the pop world after all that. This is not their best album, but in 20/20 hindsight, let’s have a listen to it, and see how it sounds.
Do It Again begins with an electronic groove and melody, to reassure you that The Beach Boys still had it after all these years. It’s not a bad tune, just very pretty and somewhat psychedelic. It’s about experiences that one misses. Great stuff.
I Can Hear Music is a really great listening experience. Strummed guitar, sleigh bells, and beautiful harmonies light up the music here for our enjoyment. It’s a nice and lush piece, proving that The Beach Boys still had it after the peak of their commercial success. Nice.
Next is Bluebirds Over The Mountain which has some pretty cool guitar work which is very awesome and other instrumentation to bring light and colour to a great pop piece. It sounds like it was inspired by Jimi Hendrix, complete with a key change in the middle of the song. Mint. The outro is tripped out.
Following is Be With Me. It has a string and horn section which sounds pretty lush. It’s about missing a lover. It’s a little weaker than expected for a tune like this, but the drumrolls and instrumentation will leave you in awe. The thunderous drum rolls are pretty good though.
All I Want To Do comes next. It doesn’t sound that good to be honest, with lots of vocal singing in an aggressive way. It needn’t be like that, the tune speaks for itself without that sort of thing. Still, it is listenable.
The Nearest Faraway Place has some beautiful, yet strange piano to begin with, before heading into some trippy guitar parts and keyboard sounds. It’s an instrumental, but not bad here on this recording. Nice and gentle listening. It’s a sixties take on the old jazz music sort of thing. Inventive.
Next is Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) which has some singing about old memories back at a cotton field back in childhood days. It’s okay, but nothing too special, like many of the tracks on this album. There is some banjo in the background, however, which is interesting.
After that we have I Went To Sleep which is very much like a lullaby. It’s a weird tune but nonetheless is interesting. Short.
Time To Get Alone which is a melodic pop piece with a keyboard in the background. It’s a good listen, although not a great one, much like the rest of the album. It’s reassuring sounding at least, which is good. A nice string section is here though.
Never Learn Not To Love has a super trippy intro and then leads into a decent pop song. It sounds very beautiful. It’s about keeping love going in life, which is an interesting topic. The climax of the song is euphoric sounding.
Next is Our Prayer, a beautiful wordless harmony piece just featuring The Beach Boys singing. Interesting and a good listen for the short length of time it goes on for.
Lastly, we have Cabinessence which is likely about you-know-what. It’s a good way to end the album regardless. It sounds interesting musically, with harmonica and banjo to boot.
This album sounds like a big mish-mash of sounds. Unfortunately, it is neither The Beach Boys best nor consistent listening all the way through. It’s decent, but not exactly a perfect listen. It does sound like a bit of a botched job. Still, The Beach Boys were doing their best, and in 20/20 hindsight, you cannot argue with that.