Wednesday, September 03, 2008

That Lucky Old Sun

One of the ultimate "boys of summer," Brian Wilson has released a new album in the waning days of Summer 2008.

I know...I couldn't believe it either.

THAT LUCKY OLD SUN is a a loving tribute to sun, surf, sand, and of course California. Lots and lots of California. The album is a song-cycle that seems to tell the sun's perspective of a (not so) typical day in California. To say that this record isn't super-sickly sweet would be a lie. If you have a black heart, this ain't for you. But if like me, you sometimes find yourself missing the Beach Boys then you need to check THAT LUCKY OLD SUN.

A concept album. Shiny, shimmering pop. A spoken word/story. THAT LUCKY OLD SUN is all of these things. Backed up once again by The Wondermints, an aging Brian Wilson (still every bit a "Boy") proves that youth truly is a state of mind. Though his voice is a bit quivery on some of the spoken-word interludes, Wilson's voice is strong and clear when he sings. Lyrically the album is exactly what you'd expect--a mixture of playful (dare I say, simple?) rhyme/alleteration and deeply profound poetry.

Favorite part of the record: Wilson re-ignites the legendary Beach Boys/Beatles war on "Live Let Live" where he argues (naturally) the poplar opposite of Macca's classic James Bond-theme "Live and Let Die." I also liked "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl" where Wilson anwsers his younger self ("Sufer Girl") and confirms that, yes you never really do forget your first love (no matter how old you get).

There's lush, complex harmonies (just like you'd expect). There's a lot of pretty piano (just like you'd expect). I honestly was not expecting to like this record. I bought it for $5.00 on impulse...and yet, like the true master that he was/is--Wilson's still got it.

THAT LUCKY OLD SUN is an epic masterpiece--a gorgeous ode to youth, love, the sun...and California. The only thing that dissapointed me were the bonus tracks. There's three extra tracks that are duets with Carole King and they're pretty underwhealming. Of the three, "I'm Into Something Good" is the one worthy of being on the disc. That said, they're "extras" so I guess I can't really nit-pick them too much.

Jason gives THAT LUCKY OLD SUN an "A+"

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