With stunning vocal harmony, a truck load of superb songs and pristine production The Beach Boys new album That’s Why God Made The Radio raises the stakes for a great summer by one of America’s most important rock bands.
Founding members now departed Dennis and his brother Carl Wilson are surely smiling.
Modern vintage is the best way to describe the first rate songwriting and killer vocal interplay on this new album
Tracks like Spring Vacation, the title track, the Do It Again vibe of Shelter and Beaches in Mind work wonders.
This is indeed a collaborative effort by all 5 members including founding guitarist David Marks.
Brian Wilson wrote and co-wrote every track on the album and his arrangements and attention to detail are incredible.
Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and especially lead vocalist Mike Love contribute to the overall gorgeous ambience.
In fact, it should be said Mike Love is at the top of his game on this album.
His lyric work on new material like Beaches In Mind, his own Daybreak Over The Ocean and Spring Vacation is spot on and organic as hell.
Al Jardine absolutley owns the new track From There to Back Again. In fact his superb vocal work brings back memories of the 20/20 and Sunflower late 60′s sessions.
In addition Bruce Johnston’s high harmony vocal work is back in the centre of almost every track on the record.
To say Johnston rises to the occasion does not due him justice.
Jeffrey Foskett (musical director for Brian Wilson’s solo band) also plays an integral role as harmony vocalist (think Carl Wilson’s falsetto vocals )
Producer/piano player Joe Thomas who dusted off some songs he had been working on with Wilson (check out Think About The Days) and two of the album’s best songs Strange World and The Private Life of Bill and Sue comes off as a very fine collaborater and important part of how good this recording sounds.
The crowning swan song to the album’s overall vibe is the ending suite.
Pacific Coast Highway and Summer’s Gone hark back to the poignant sound of Surf’s Up ending tracks Till I Die and Surf’s Up.
Indeed as we come to terms with our own mortality Brian Wilson and the boys have delivered a big nod to nostlagia, a new beginning and a killer set of songs to live and breathe by in the Summer of 2012.
That’s Why God Made The Radio hits the world June 5 2012.
JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, musician www.johnemms.com and radio host
You can check out John’s fun band at www.theshaftmen.com