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Wednesday, August 30

The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" Review


As you see from the two lists below, what I consider to be the best music from 1966 comes from the Beach Boys (and I'm not just saying that because the reissued album came out yesterday). The Beach Boys Greatest Hits album was the first pop CD that I ever received at the ripe age of 12. From that point on, the Beach Boys were the greatest thing in the world to me. I remember watching countless documentaries and biopics on the band, learning to play the opening to "Good Vibrations" on the piano, phoning into oldies stations to play their music, and even serenading girls in my class with the song, "California Girls".

I eventually outgrew the "surf sound" of the older Beach Boys material but I still found myself going back to two tracks on the Greatest Hits album over and over, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows." When I finally bought the whole Pet Sounds album, I was entranced by the record, and I think nearly every song on it has been my favorite at one point, I even warmed up to "Sloop John B" in time. Currently, I can't get over the opening tympani and warm keyboard sounds in "I'm Waiting For The Day" that are mixed with lyrics of bittersweet optimism.

The ideas in the Pet Sounds are universal, honest, and heartfelt. From "You know it seems the more we talk about it / It only makes it worse to live without it" to "I could try to be big in the eyes of the world / what matters to me is what I could be to just one girl" to "God only knows what I'd be without you", everyone who's been in love knows those feelings. What makes them even more poignant though, is that they are put to melodies that hit you instantly and never leave your ear (like good pop songs should, right). Even listening to the album today, there's something nostalgic and magical about it, even though I was born nearly 20 years after it was released. So hoist up the John B sails and let the Beach Boys take you home.

Buy the remastered, reissued 40th Anniversary Pet Sounds CD+DVD set. Seriously.
posted by Taylor, 8/30/2006 12:50:00 PM | link 0 comments

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