The Beach Boys were not having a great time by this point. The glory of the 1960s in both Hippie idealism and successes for the group had perished. On top of that, Brian Wilson was no longer in total artistic control over the band’s music. In an effort to regain ground, at least commercially, The Beach Boys went back into the studio to create this album. It is often seen as a decent effort, although nothing at this point could match the unique and excellent listen that was Pet Sounds. This album was released to critical acclaim and got some recognition that way, but not via sales. Still, let’s take a listen to this album and hear if it is any good.
Slip On Through begins the album, launching straight into the song, no intro here. This does sound a lot more 1970s than 1960s here, and it hasn’t aged as well as it could have. It’s easily the weakest track on the album. Nonetheless, it is a good effort here that sounds okay. To be fair, it’s not the greatest song by The Beach Boys but sounds really sweet and harmonious. In the second half are bongo beats and a wonderful deal of suspense, with this song eventually fading out. It’s not the best of the band, but it’s okay.
This Whole World begins with some electric guitars in the left channel, some good singing by The Beach Boys and an expressive tune that sounds brilliant. Singing about love and other simplistic romanticism, The Beach Boys really want you to think it is still the 1960s at this point. The unique wall-of-sound production is very pretty and lovely, as are the gorgeous harmonies here. The harmonies take centre stage towards the end with no supporting instrumentation, which sounds really awesome. This continues during the fade-out.
Add Some Music To Your Day is a brilliant song title. It begins with 12 string acoustic guitars, more beautiful singing and a happy sounding tune. This is something that every broad-minded music fan should listen to, simply due to the fact that it makes clear sense. This is interesting, polished and euphoric listening to this day. Yes, this is a great song and proves that, even at this point, The Beach Boys had a pleasant and quintessential musical ability present. Layered with various beautiful instruments, this isn’t the perfectionist glory of Pet Sounds but it sounds very, very good anyway. Music is one of the most wonderful art forms out there, and this is exactly what one should hear if you love music. Brilliant, gorgeous and interesting, this is a very good song. Nice effort.
Got To Know The Woman begins with layered pianos and a strange lead vocal that sounds very much like a Paul McCartney imitation in a Soul music style. Nonetheless, this is a really cool tune that is about romantic love and has some brilliant backing vocals and clean guitar playing here. It is fairly obvious by this point of the album that The Beach Boys have created a decent and variably layered album that is very consistent and listenable. The title of the song is chanted right towards the end, with some really expressive and furious sounding drum rolls. Excellent.
Deirdre is a very old fashioned female name. This song is really amazingly and beautifully arranged, with a gorgeous array of singing, horns, keyboards and xylophone. That’s not all, this is also a very pretty song that is of high quality. This music is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Burt Bacharach of the time. This is a lovely and romantic tune that succeeds at swaying emotions. In the middle is a key change, and there is a horn solo, followed by some audible bass guitar playing. A really gentle and enjoyable piece of music, this is certainly worth your time. An excellent song with some fine singing from The Beach Boys, this has some amazing harmonies and playing in the fade out. Awesome.
It’s About Time launches immediately into a strange Rock groove. This is one of the lesser cuts on the album, but it still sounds moving and energetic throughout the listening experience. There is some neat wah-wah guitar and keyboard sounds throughout. Again, this is really cool for what it is. “I’m singing in my heart,” is repeated throughout, and nothing beats a good ode to music. Around the middle is a breakdown, with a repeated vocal that sounds like a proto-Michael Hutchence of INXS delivery. Soon enough, this tune launches straight back into action. A very good listen. There is a long fade out that is definitely worth hearing as well, the sounds in it are delicious.
Tears In The Morning begins with a drum roll and some vocals that are decent and cranked up very high in the mix. The singing is amazing, and there is an accordion here as well, amongst other interesting instrumentation. This album sounds like a rival to The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or The Beach Boys own Pet Sounds, although maybe not as revolutionary as those other records. An enjoyable and wonderful piece of music that launches into a pseudo-Frank Sinatra midsection that sounds pretty and full of intense emotion. Regardless, a good listen throughout that is about missing a lover and crying in the early morning due to that. Not a nice topic lyrically, but is musically irresistible. The main section of the song fades out early, followed by a piano solo, which is nice. Good work. It sounds as pretty as most beautiful music does, a good song.
All I Wanna Do begins with keyboard melodies that are excellent, clean guitars and an effects laden vocal part that sounds very John Lennon-ish. This is a really cool tune to hear, and it sounds really inspired and different. Sure, this is a fairly Psychedelic number by the sounds of it, but it is super awesome. The second half has a good mix of harmonies, clever wall-of-sound instrumentation and great playing. Enjoyable song, this one sounds very druggy, however.
Forever is the most popular song from this album. It begins with some acoustic guitar strumming away and some background sound effects. Soon enough, this song gets underway and it sounds like a super romantic and different tune. Again, although this album isn’t the greatest by The Beach Boys, the music here is very good. The singing on this song is really excellent, and it comes across as romantic music that Californian Hippies would dig at the time. In any case, this is good listening. A pleasant and enjoyable song, this points to the underrated nature of this album, fading out quickly.
Our Sweet Love begins with layered keyboards and piano, along with a string section, with more pristine and pretty singing. This is another beautiful and listenable song that points out how good The Beach Boys were as a group, even on lesser efforts. A fine and enjoyable listening with an addictive mix and pleasant tunes, this is a very overlooked and underrated song, and album. Worth repeat listens, the string section melodies present are beautiful. “Our sweet love, could last forever,” is sung here repeatedly, before concluding. Brilliant stuff.
At My Window begins with some unusual keyboard melodies, pretty acoustic guitar and some very Beatlesque singing. This is a pleasant and pretty listening that features some very awesome multitracked vocals, and even a little bit of Spanish spoken here in the first half of the song. There is the sound of a bird chirping here, too. The songs on this album are very colourful (if you can interpret musical sounds as colours, which not many can do) and pretty overall. A piece guaranteed to make you smile, this is an awesome tune to play to children especially. Great song.
Cool, Cool Water is the last song on this very enjoyable album, and also by far the longest. It begins with some excellent multitracked harmonies with some really nice and lush instrumentation. There is chugging piano to suit the song perfectly. The instrumentation fades out, along with the singing, after some time. This is replaced by the sound of rushing waves via keyboard, before some extra harmonies enter. The harmonies sound juicy and delicious, just like a nicely cooked steak, except it is music. Eventually, the song section resumes with more keyboards, singing and a touch of bongo drums. This is a very refreshing and interesting tune, and is never dull nor boring throughout the entire listen. The Beach Boys could prove by this point that they were the real masters of the Surf Rock genre, and made some great music to match it. The instrumentation in the second half is really amazing. With some super pretty singing about the cool water that is enjoyable, especially in summer, The Beach Boys have created a great and underrated album here, and this song is the icing on the cake. Excellent work.
This is definitely an album you should take a listen to, especially if you have heard Pet Sounds and you are hungry for more music similar to that album after hearing it. The Beach Boys deserve a lot of praise for this short and sweet album that stands up on its feet. In such difficult circumstances, a great album was made here. Nice job by all. There are reissues out there of this album which are worth hunting down, should you desire to do so.
Pretty, colourful and interesting.