Beach Boys' new single "That's Why God Made the Radio" not good enough for radio

Here they go. After more than 20 years apart, the Beach Boys are definitely reuniting, releasing another album, touring… surfing?…

Have to admit — I really thought this reunion would eventually go the way of a Van Halen “They’re gonna… No they’re not.. But they might (but actually never were)”-type flirtation.

It’s not going to be as bad as having to hear boy bands again, as both Europe and the United Forces of SNL succumb to the rapidly-advancing minions of One Direction, but we will occasionally be subjected to some sappy new-school Beach Boys songs that make Kokomo sound progressive.

Can you even rock this on an oldies station? As far as the old Beach Boys catalog goes, this sounds like a throwaway with wimpy harmonies and forgettable lyrics. This track would never have been a classic Beach Boys single. And who is going to play it now?

To reiterate — I am a real live second-generation Beach Boys fan — grew up hearing those songs about surfing played by Dick Biondi on Oldies 104.3, mind blown by Pet Sounds during a grad-school-era re-discovery, excited by the final release of Smile and all.

James, L. and I once threw a summer party at our large house in Peoria where we played nothing but the Beach Boys for all the mid-2000’s college students and townsfolk — and it worked. Kids came up to me during the party and said “Nobody else would do this. This is fresh and awesome.”

I can’t say it’s because the songs are timeless — they are certainly reminiscent of an era. But they have an energy that still breathes. They aren’t watered-down. (And they boast two other Wilsons!)

None of the progression past kitsch that Brian Wilson constantly pushed the band towards — and finally achieved in the late-middle years — is here. This is pure reminiscent sap. It’s a knock-off.

If this is just the band hopping up on stage for a half-family reunion, fine. But musically, Brian Wilson has been better getting around on his own.


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  • Too funny! When is it time to say when? Incidentally, have you heard of this band called Outrageous Cherry? Kind of a psychedelic fuzz rock outfit, that has a Beach Boys feel. I was jamming them when I read this and thought I would mention it. They are older, but fun. Check out "If You Want Me."

  • In reply to radstarr:

    Holy cow i immediately thought "Sloop John B" when that song started. They're pretty rad. Hell yeah.

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