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Poll
Question: Rate L.A. (Light Album)
5 - 4 (3.1%)
4 - 40 (31.3%)
3 - 56 (43.8%)
2 - 20 (15.6%)
1 - 6 (4.7%)
0 - 2 (1.6%)
Total Voters: 121

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Author Topic: L.A. (Light Album)  (Read 41586 times)
Mike's Beard
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« Reply #150 on: September 25, 2015, 09:57:32 AM »

1. Good Timin' 4/5
2. Lady Lynda 5/5
3. Full Sail 2/5
4. Angel Come Home 4/5
5. Love Surrounds Me 4/5
6. Sumahama 2/5
7. Here Comes The Night 3/5
8. Baby Blue 5/5
9. Goin' South 2/5
10. Shortenin' Bread 2/5

Bambu's loss was LA Light's gain, the Dennis tracks here are great. Carl's new tunes are a snooze. Sumahama lost a point for the Japanese vocal part. I LOVE the single edit of Here Comes The Night but the 10+ min version on here is a very bad fit.
Overall 3/5.
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Bean Bag
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« Reply #151 on: September 29, 2015, 10:06:19 PM »

Man, it's such a weird album though.  It took me a long time to really enjoy straight thru.  For the longest time, if I was in a *this* mood I could do *these* tracks... if I was in a *that* mood, then I could do just *those*.
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« Reply #152 on: October 16, 2015, 01:42:40 PM »

Ok, spent a little more time with this one... formulated some deep thoughts...

Thanks to a solid production and a big thanks to Dennis Wilson -- L.A. narrowly avoids being a total disaster.  They at least no longer sound like a band someone found passed out on their couch.  With time, this album can grow on you... and it should, because this is pretty much the last Beach Boys album -- at least with Denny and the band giving, if not their "all" -- certainly giving a lot.  And that's the album's secret.  What I love most about it, is what it suggests to me.  All the missed opportunities.  It's sad in a way... as a result.  But there's actually a lot here when you break it down....

The disco number is still a giant, ill-advised buzz-kill though.  Like a toothache, you can't ignore it.  It's such a mood-killer for an album that has kind of a nice mellow and mature yacht-rock thing going on.  I don't have a problem with the band going in this direction at all.  But it's out of place here and not all that well done.  I wouldn't be surprised if some studio intern assembled it while the group was out going... um ... sailing?  However, it's not that easy to dismiss.  The track has a somewhat optimistic vibe to me.  It's lively and "suggests" that the group is trying.  That there would be more to come.  Anyway, knowing that things would soon end... I welcome the optimism.  



Denny's songs continue to surprise with repeated listens -- proving that Dennis Wilson (if anyone was interested) was the one capable of continuing the group's high-standards of contributing brilliant, ground-breaking and unique musical landscapes to a pop music world desperately in need of such ideas.  They're kind of like little self-contained universes.  They're almost impenetrable.  But they do, or can, reveal themselves over time.

At first glance, they don't sound like much.  They're not "catchy" like Brian's work.  They're darker, more compact.  Like dark-matter.  I'm convinced that Dennis had a lot to offer and would have only grown better over time.  Had he continued his work and his ideas, he would have made some marvelous, amazing music.  He of course did do all of those things -- but I feel like it sizzled under the radar of most people.




Carl's songs (Full Sail, Goin' South) work just fine.  I like Full Sail especially.  It might even be my favorite song on the album.  They never did anything like this before or since -- and this well.  I feel like I'm in a old dark seafood restaurant.  Or floating, dreamily on a sunlit bay -- with not a care in the world.  I like everything about what's going on here.  It makes me want an entire, wistful, Beach Boys sailing album.  Songs of the Sea.  Imagine the deep-wounded cover of Surf's Up, but instead... a ship out at sea.  Toss in an updated version of Sail On, Sailor while we're at it (with Brian singing lead).  Anyway... the syrupy strings are divine.  Carl's voice is heavenly.  "Adventure on the high seas!"  Oh yeah.  I want more of this one... mellow, beautiful.


Goin' South is decent, but suffers from cliché -- mainly the noodling 70s sax solo, brooding off in the distance.  And the lyrics, while they capture the mood, just don't sound all that inspired.  But, again, it's a nice sound for the band.  Lose the sax though.  Add vibes or marimba instead.  Or a steel drum -- or all three.  But just not the sax.  No one should be wearing shades, standing on a corner blowing a city-sax.  It makes a nice "getaway song" sound like a dated Michelob commercial.  Buzz killington.  



Good Timin' is a minor gem, appearing only to tease us with a glimpse of what we could be getting if Brian Wilson were focused.  Sadly, there's nothing anywhere else on the album that continues in this vein.  So it feels almost like a disappointment as a result.  And Shortenin' Bread is like a "... meanwhile, back at Brian's shack" wake up call, reminding us of exactly why we're not getting anything else like "Good Timin'" from Brian Wilson.  In a strange way, the these two tracks serve as the proper bookends to this strangely complex album.




An honorable mention goes to Lady Lynda.  It's a really nice track -- and it feels like it could have been more.  Even longer perhaps.  I know Al had a lot of outside help, but it feels like an Al song regardless.  It also fits, musically, with the mellow beauty of the album.  I somehow imagine it could be remixed and arranged to be even better.  Maybe slowed down?  If it's gonna fit on my "Sea Album" than I might change some of the lyrics to make it fit better -- a majestic Sea Shanty about me' Lynda.  Left her back on land.  Old salty dog, I am.  I do love the harpsichord ending.  


Sumahama, should follow Lady Lynda.  And like Lady Lynda, could also be re-worked.  Another ode to a sailor's gal from far away.  So we're doing a California Girls thing -- except with girls from all over the world.  I'd make the chorus richer -- give it more impact.  Bring in more strings and voices -- make the melody float, and kill the background rhythm instruments at that moment.  The end, should actually be a longer middle section, with more Japanese instruments at play:  "Suma.  Hama.  Suma.  Hama."  Kind of a "if you're gonna do the whole Japanese thing, then lets do it... and get lost in it."  Then we can reintroduce the melody courtesy of some sad strings to fade it out.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 02:04:44 PM by Bean Bag » Logged

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Smilin Ed H
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« Reply #153 on: October 19, 2015, 10:30:29 AM »

Pretty nice analysis. I'm pissed Santa Ana Winds, Lookin' Down the Coast and California Feelin' weren't included, but knowing the Boys, we'd have been given Calendar Girl instead (and Santa Ana Winds lived to fight another day and almost single-handedly rescue KTSA from the stinkpot).
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JK
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« Reply #154 on: February 18, 2016, 01:31:13 PM »

Gave Light Album a listen today (my Beach Boy Burnout seems finally to have burnt itself out) and I must say, not a bad track in sight.

I try not to be negative around here but I did experience the very, very slightest of dips during "Sumahama", hahaha----otherwise, pretty good stuff, all of it. The disco version of "HCTN" kicks serious disco ass. And the Dennis songs are peerless.

I'd say that even the best album of most bands would suffer in comparison. I wasn't planning to, but since l'm in a good mood I'll give it 5/5 instead of the 4/5 I had in mind...  Cool Guy     
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #155 on: May 10, 2016, 11:34:29 PM »

I love this album more every time I listen to it - even "Sumahama". Amazing how they came up with such a strong album after a trio of turkeys. Some of the brilliance of "Holland" has returned. Yes, it's mostly very MOR, but I really wouldn't expect the Beach Boys to be rocking hard in the late 70's.
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KDS
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« Reply #156 on: May 11, 2016, 05:23:15 AM »

I love this album more every time I listen to it - even "Sumahama". Amazing how they came up with such a strong album after a trio of turkeys. Some of the brilliance of "Holland" has returned. Yes, it's mostly very MOR, but I really wouldn't expect the Beach Boys to be rocking hard in the late 70's.

I agree.  If not for the overly long disco track, I might consider this to be the last great BB album instead of Holland. 
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"There is no right nor wrong in art, only preference." - Steve Desper
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #157 on: May 11, 2016, 06:05:31 PM »

I love this album more every time I listen to it - even "Sumahama". Amazing how they came up with such a strong album after a trio of turkeys. Some of the brilliance of "Holland" has returned. Yes, it's mostly very MOR, but I really wouldn't expect the Beach Boys to be rocking hard in the late 70's.

I agree.  If not for the overly long disco track, I might consider this to be the last great BB album instead of Holland. 
I made my own version. Trimmed the disco track down to 4 minutes, and added it's a Beautiful Day.
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KDS
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« Reply #158 on: May 12, 2016, 05:16:58 AM »

I love this album more every time I listen to it - even "Sumahama". Amazing how they came up with such a strong album after a trio of turkeys. Some of the brilliance of "Holland" has returned. Yes, it's mostly very MOR, but I really wouldn't expect the Beach Boys to be rocking hard in the late 70's.

I agree.  If not for the overly long disco track, I might consider this to be the last great BB album instead of Holland. 
I made my own version. Trimmed the disco track down to 4 minutes, and added it's a Beautiful Day.

I'm sure its an improvement, but four minutes would still be tough to take. 

Kiss, the Stones, and Pink Floyd infused disco into their music in the late 70s, but at least it still sounded like those bands. 
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Any opinions posted by me regarding the music of The Beach Boys, and their members, is in no way a show of disrespect towards any member of The Beach Boys, past or present.

"There is no right nor wrong in art, only preference." - Steve Desper
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #159 on: May 28, 2016, 01:02:10 PM »

I love this album more every time I listen to it - even "Sumahama". Amazing how they came up with such a strong album after a trio of turkeys. Some of the brilliance of "Holland" has returned. Yes, it's mostly very MOR, but I really wouldn't expect the Beach Boys to be rocking hard in the late 70's.

I agree.  If not for the overly long disco track, I might consider this to be the last great BB album instead of Holland. 
I made my own version. Trimmed the disco track down to 4 minutes, and added it's a Beautiful Day.

I'm sure its an improvement, but four minutes would still be tough to take. 

Kiss, the Stones, and Pink Floyd infused disco into their music in the late 70s, but at least it still sounded like those bands. 
The Kinks had Superman, which had a straight disco beat, but the guitars were pure Kinks. Wings had Goodnight Tonight with a disco beat, but it was still lovably, quircky McCartney. The Beach Boys just put their vocals on a straight disco track. Not very creative.
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« Reply #160 on: May 28, 2016, 05:51:16 PM »

It's an album full of pretty good songs, and a few bad ones. Nothing spectacular and the bad songs drag the album down, especially since one of them is 11 friggin' minutes long. Should've replaced it with California Feelin', It's A Beautiful Day, and Da Doo Ron Ron.
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