Brian Wilson was at the core of many classic songs by The Beach Boys. He crafted these songs out of an excellent and creative imagination that won hearts and minds around the world alike. Although The Beach Boys are clearly no more, Brian Wilson, the musical genius that he is has delivered a stripped-back album of songs from The Beach Boys on piano. This definitely should be an interesting listen, so let’s hear this album and see what it sounds like.
We begin with God Only Knows which is a brilliant piano adaptation of the original song. It sounds immediately very different from everything else in Pop/Rock music. No singing is here, just a beautiful piano melody that sounds great. A very refreshing and different listen, there is a quirky midsection of melodic intensity, before going back into the main song. Great and a very joyful listen throughout. Nice song from start to finish. It has a super quiet fade out before concluding, excellent.
Next along is In My Room which begins with some decent melodic playing on the piano, once again. This has an undercurrent of melancholy in the melody but sounds very good nonetheless. Brian Wilson reveals himself to be an expert musician on the piano and does very well here indeed. This is a really excellent way to interpret a very interesting set of songs. A very nice and soothing listen indeed. A very beautiful set of music and melody on the piano, nice effort Mr Wilson. It ends with some dramatic and sustained notes.
Don’t Worry Baby comes next and sounds very joyful and upbeat. The piano here is really beautiful and suits Brian Wilson’s crafty melodies. If you want a bridge of music between Pop/Rock melodies and Classical Piano, you should be perfectly happy here. A grand and lovely listen, this is very magical and the whole thing sounds really stunning. A really great piece of music set to a grand piano, it shows the amazing talent and musicality of The Beach Boys songs by Brian Wilson on just a piano. Excellent work and a touching listen from start to finish.
California Girls comes next and is a cheerful take on the classic song by The Beach Boys on piano. It sounds really cool, combining the vocal melody and rhythms into a single piano piece. Really great interpretation of the original song and a great reminder of a simpler time with these songs on piano. It’s a little downtempo but really great all the same, never a dull moment on this recording. Different to the original hit song, but just as good. Brian Wilson ticks all the right boxes nicely.
Next along is The Warmth Of The Sun which is a really sweet sounding piece of music. A really nice piano section goes along. This is excellent music and is done perfectly by Brian Wilson. These songs are the perfect answer to those who love Classical Music but dislike the format and length of many traditional Classical Music pieces. A refreshing and interesting listen throughout, it sounds totally brilliant. Great music in an enjoyable format, this is really great to hear. Nice and beautiful work here for many to enjoy. It’s minimalism supreme, but first-class minimalism at that. Good job.
Following is The Beach Boys classic Wouldn’t It Be Nice which sounds marvellously grand and great from the go. It is a really happy and optimistic-sounding joy of a tune and just shows how excellent these songs on this album (as well as the originals too) sound and touch heartstrings. A short and magical interpretation of the Pet Sounds classic, this is really excellent. It changes tempo in the second half, just like on the original piece. A truly great interpretation of a classic song. A must hear from the album.
You Still Believe In Me is another classic song from Pet Sounds that actually sounds a lot more serious and a huge improvement sonically on some of the original song’s sound. Anyway, this is a great rendition, without question about it. A very gentle and relaxing sounding piece of music, despite being tinged with a bit of melancholy sadness about it. Great to hear something unusually different from the original Surf Pop/Rock songs that he created, but just as good as the original. Top stuff.
I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times is a good piano interpretation, again from Pet Sounds. It sounds very beautiful and nicely played, taking away the lyrical melancholy and self-pity that plagued the original Pet Sounds album, and instead making it a beautiful instrumental. It does sound perfectly played and very memorable throughout, being a great song made by lovely piano. Decent music to hear, whenever the mood strikes. Very enjoyable and piano renditions are something that more artists should do with their music. Brian Wilson is a genius, period. Great listen from start to finish.
Next is Sketches Of Smile which has some deep and interesting piano parts, which borrow some melodies from various Smile songs. Fortunately, Brian Wilson has re-released some newer take ons of the original album after he shelved it in 1967. There are some noticeable highlights from the lost Pop/Rock masterpiece of 1967 in this section, and if you have not heard The Smile Sessions album released in 2011, then you definitely should do so, along with this album. In any case, this is a standout piece that sounds great. A beautiful and wonderful mash-up of melodies, simply on a grand piano, this is great to hear. Top stuff. It ends with a rather slow pace but is absolutely worth hearing.
Following is Surf’s Up which is a longer piece of music on this album at four minutes long, with some instantly recognisable piano parts. This is another retrospective gem of a song, just sounding very excellent and nicely done. A very neat amalgamation of melodic sensibility, groove and piano playing, Brian Wilson succeeds wonderfully on this song. A nice memory of musical themes and songs from yesteryear, this is a powerful and moving piece of music on a grand piano. Nice work here, as is the rest of the album. Good to hear that Brian Wilson is still innovating to this day. Great composition on this very consistent album.
Friends is another memorable interpretation of a classic song originally penned for The Beach Boys. A fantastic and fantasy-based interpretation, all using hands on a piano. It is very difficult for Classical compositions to be accepted by many younger people today, let’s hope that this trend changes with this album. It is a lovely listen throughout, just sounding terrific. The rhythm and melody on these performances are really amazing sounding. No wonder even The Beatles paid attention to Brian Wilson’s work with The Beach Boys, it is evident here why. Good performance.
Till I Die is a rather light sounding piece from this collection of interpreted classic songs. It does succeed on many levels, all the same, just sounding incredibly good. This piece is only just over two minutes long, so it never bores one to death, unlike other instrumental based recordings out there. A strong and consistent effort by Brian Wilson, nice music to listen to. Refreshing and effective listening.
Next along is Love And Mercy which is an optimistic-sounding construction on the grand piano. It just shows that the music here has a power of its own, and sounds really excellent. No extra instrumentation or studio polish, just Brian Wilson and his piano playing. Very soothing and fine listening, it is a deeply emotional listen. Very enjoyable as well, nice to hear. Good, short two minute long Pop piece.
After that is Mt Vernon Farewell which is super short, at barely over a minute long. It is a gentle and relaxing listen, once again and suits the album very well as an addition to it. Very wonderful and semi-Psychedelic in construction with a descending melody that is from that sort of listen, but only on the grand piano. Listen to it, and you will understand.
Good Vibrations is a bit different, sounding like a dual tracked piano piece. It quickly launches into the amazing song, just done purely on piano. This is a really cool addition to this very great quality album and it just sounds very good. Enough to bring a big smile to one’s face, Brian Wilson proves his worth and reminds listeners that he is in many ways, musically untouchable. A sweet finish to a simple and lovely album. Nice sounding and good interpretation of the original classic song, first released in 1967. Great to hear this song in this form, it sounds brilliantly good. Nice piece of music.
This is an underrated and awesome listen, very much perfect from start to finish. If you like grand piano Classical music playing, classic Pop melodies and previous works by The Beach Boys, all wrapped up in one, this is your album. Even casual listeners will appreciate this piano-driven effort. Brian Wilson is a true genius, period. A great album without a doubt.
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