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.