CD Review: The Beach Boys

(amazon.com)

The Beach Boys
That’s Why God Made the Radio
Capitol/EMI
By David Chiu

On the heels of the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary is not another hits compilation, but an actual brand-new album and quite a good one at that. Certainly a huge part of it has to do with bringing back Brian Wilson into the fold, which really make it a true Beach Boys reunion. That’s Why God Made the Radio certainly recalls the old Beach Boys sound in the ‘50s styled-title track, “Daybreak Over the Ocean,” and the breezy “Spring Vacation.” And it’s not all about summer and beaches—“The Private World of Bill and Sue” takes a topical aim at reality TV stardom. The new record showcases the two most important parts of the Beach Boys legend: Brian Wilson’s painstaking production work and arrangements, and the Boys’ signature vocal harmonies (Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston)—it’s almost like listening to an old friend. That’s Why God Made the Radio evokes the nostalgia of fun and sun that the group has been renowned for, but it’s also a very mature work in some aspects too. Reunions are an iffy thing—but this one is a rare exception, and this satisfying work is proof of that.

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