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Author Topic: New album info (as it rolls out...)  (Read 233561 times)
Old Rake
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« Reply #3100 on: May 24, 2012, 07:45:55 AM »

It is a reviewer's prerogative to be somewhat hyperbolic, and to speak to the particular audience that reads reviews on that type of website. The only mistake he made was asking for anyone's opinions here.
I'm not a fan of the sound of the record per se, and not because I think it isn't hip. But I still like reviews that take a stab at leaving no room for denial. That is a Paul Williams hallmark.

Werd.

I'm not a fan of the sound of the record for LOTS of reasons -- totally stated 'em in the article, too. The bits about hipness in there were jibes at people, and you and I both know a ton of 'em, who only like the Beach Boys *because* they're hip. I was just saying you aren't going to be finding any of that here -- the hip sort of "Pet Sounds redux" music or whatever, this record has none of that, and don't we all agree with that? The point of the article was simply that if you are able to overlook the godawful production touches, you're gonna find good songs.

I dunno how dude above so thoroughly missed the point I was making, esp. considering so many other people got it. I guess if you go into a review with your fists up and ready to fight, you're gonna find something to fight about.
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« Reply #3101 on: May 24, 2012, 08:07:08 AM »

my vinyl has now been delayed to august 14  Shocked
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« Reply #3102 on: May 24, 2012, 08:42:47 AM »


The point of the article was simply that if you are able to overlook the godawful production touches, you're gonna find good songs.


i think it's funny for a band more famously known for its production prowess, pretty much since 1976 we've been having to do just that
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southbay
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« Reply #3103 on: May 24, 2012, 08:44:57 AM »

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The reviewer in said review suggested that one who doesn't like the production is just preoccupied with it not being hip.

You could not have more thoroughly missed the point I was trying to make. Hint: that's not even close. I'm glad it got your panties up in a bundle, but go back and read again with your hackles *down* this time and see if you get it.

Again: not. even. close.

Your review (of the band as a whole and this album) reads very well.  If I were a better writer, that is what I would have said.  Thanks for sharing.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #3104 on: May 24, 2012, 08:56:29 AM »

One particular statement or theme in this review (http://www.letoilemagazine.com/2012/05/23/we-will-rock-you-the-square-sounds-of-the-beach-boys/), how Brian Wilson has always been a colossal cornball, doesn't hold up when you put his music and his productions from 1963-67 into that equation. At that time, he was one of the few producers who had the ears of most in the pop music business, had more clout than I'd bet 98% of people his age and background in the business at that time, and that point continues to be driven home every time another of his peers says in an interview how influential his records at that time were on other artists and producers making pop music. The driving force behind that clout and respect was mostly the way his records sounded and the way they were received by the public and the record biz types alike.

Cornball sells in very large quantities but it doesn't garner the same level of respect and the same aura as innovation.

It's not about hip, it's not about pop-culture iconoclastic imagery, it's about putting out songs that people heard on the radio and on record and considered to be at the forefront of pop recording at that time. Brian *was* competitive at that time and has admitted it, he *was* trying to outdo Spector and the Beatles and others, and he was making records that were cutting-edge for pop or teen music of that era. I'd suggest there was a different kind of drive behind those records and that music, a different kind of mindset that went into creating them which did not go into nearly everything the man released from the 70's onward with a few but very significant exceptions, and even those exceptions had a foot in the past rather than a start-from-scratch mentality. There was that competitive edge in that process which the man himself admits he discarded soon after the Smile era, and making that kind of music no longer appealed to him as much as making records which pleased him.

The statement about cornball would ring more true if the years from, say, 1963-67 were taken out of the equation.

I also think comparing anything from this album to something from the 60's classic era is a mistake, as shown by Brian's reaction when Al attempted to link it somehow to Pet Sounds during the PBS interview. The mindset going into this latest album was not 1965, even though some of the resulting sounds may have come out sounding like 1965.

The new album may be cornball, but to apply that overall to Brian's music from the 60's didn't feel right - not completely wrong, but not right.


Yeah, but Craig, Brian Wilson, even during the hitmakin' years was always way more about the Four Freshmen and Rosemary Clooney -- the epitome of pure corn, though of course awesome! -- than Chuck Berry. His roots have always been in music other people would consider corny/cheesy. The point is that he was able to transform his influences into great songs. But the corn was there -- always. It came out in his songs, too!

And yeah -- there's no point in comparing this record to stuff from the 60s, even though in terms of quality the last few songs are on a par with, say, a Pet Sounds or a Til I Die.

I see the points, but I also don't hear that cornball element near as much as the review would suggest in the final products, especially from the "Golden Age" which I'd list as 1963-67. Freshmen, Clooney, Gershwin...check. However, and I mean this seriously, do we as people who listen to a lot of music hear any of that in the truly great singles the man was making? I Get Around? When I Grow Up? California Girls? Wouldn't It Be Nice?

I could list more but I'd be tempted to say if you played those classic BB singles for people in a blind test next to a stack of Clooney or Freshmen records, the similarities would be threadbare at best. It reminds me of reading various City Paper type publications and 'zines in the early 90's where the music writers would hear a rock band doing a vocal harmony or a jazzy chord change and immediately trot out the "Brian Wilson" comparison tag.

Again, if we take the larger overview of the band's history, specifically the stage act which more fans have spent money on than any new record releases since the 70's, the cornball element is huge and yes, it should be celebrated and enjoyed because it is part of the band's fun identity, no problems from me on that point.

But to paint the recorded legacy of Brian Wilson with that broad of a brush, I think it does paint over what was a young man making among the best and most forward-thinking recordings of his time and among his peer group, and those recordings influenced and continue to influence those in his field. If the cornball element were that strong *at that time*, Brian's records would be in the same bin as Winchester Cathedral or They're Coming To Take Me Away - novelties that sounded interesting but were ultimately forgettable and disposable.

It's just a difference of opinion, not saying either is right or wrong. Reviews and articles should inspire debate and discussion, and this one did just that! It was hard to get past the word or the theme of "cornball" for me.
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Mr. Cohen
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« Reply #3105 on: May 24, 2012, 09:19:23 AM »

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Today Brian needs help in writing songs, writiing lyrics, recording, arranging, producing etc. He can't do it on his own. And neither should we expect him to do so. He has done enough already. He'd done enough by the time he was 25 years old. I have no doubt that today left to his own devices, he would come up with jack sh*t. This kind of wet dream of Brian being left alone in a studio of full of keyboards creating masterpieces is a crock of sh*t. Of course he would play the keyboard, possibily write some of the most amazing melodies imaginable.

Of course not! I'm of the type that I'd rather hear horrible or sloppy Brian verses most of the Disney album -  Brian has earned that from me, whereas Foskett and Mertens have earned nothing. Their music doesn't resonate with me. I mean, listen to the guitar on "Beaches In Mind"... is that serious? Or a joke? If it was meant to be ironically cheesy, I could maybe accept it, but I suspect the guitarist was actually earnest. It's like something from a Disney Channel commercial, but on a Brian Wilson "production".
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 09:22:15 AM by Dada » Logged
Mr. Cohen
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« Reply #3106 on: May 24, 2012, 09:28:17 AM »

Also, I find interesting that almost everyone here can slag off everything the BBs did in the 1980s, and yet so many people give anything made now a pass. "You should just be grateful you're getting anything," they say. Please. These guys are making some real money off of this reunion. There's no reason not to expect a product that's good. They aren't doing it for charity. We all hated Joe Thomas, but now we're being told to accept whatever cheesy, digital crap he throws on a song. "If Brian wants to use autotune for artistic reasons, we shouldn't dare criticize it!" OK.

"Peace and money! Ain't life funny?" Those are Mike's lyrics from "Spring Vacation". Shows what this reunion is about for some. There are some good new songs and fun moments here, but there's an undercurrent of something odious going on, too.
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drbeachboy
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« Reply #3107 on: May 24, 2012, 09:33:38 AM »

Quote
Today Brian needs help in writing songs, writiing lyrics, recording, arranging, producing etc. He can't do it on his own. And neither should we expect him to do so. He has done enough already. He'd done enough by the time he was 25 years old. I have no doubt that today left to his own devices, he would come up with jack sh*t. This kind of wet dream of Brian being left alone in a studio of full of keyboards creating masterpieces is a crock of sh*t. Of course he would play the keyboard, possibily write some of the most amazing melodies imaginable.

Of course not! I'm of the type that I'd rather hear horrible or sloppy Brian verses most of the Disney album -  Brian has earned that from me, whereas Foskett and Mertens have earned nothing. Their music doesn't resonate with me. I mean, listen to the guitar on "Beaches In Mind"... is that serious? Or a joke? If it was meant to be ironically cheesy, I could maybe accept it, but I suspect the guitarist was actually earnest. It's like something from a Disney Channel commercial, but on a Brian Wilson "production".
So, are you saying that Brian had no input into the sound of his music? That if he did not like the guitar work of which you speak that he could not have had the guitarist re-do the section to his satisfaction? I also want to say that Brian has not earned the right to be horrible or sloppy. If a musician goes into a studio to make a record, I expect him or her to give it their best shot to make as good a record as they are capable of making. If you expect people to pay money to buy your music, then you need to put your best foot forward and give it your best effort.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 09:36:31 AM by drbeachboy » Logged

The Brianista Prayer

Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
Old Rake
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« Reply #3108 on: May 24, 2012, 09:34:09 AM »

One particular statement or theme in this review (http://www.letoilemagazine.com/2012/05/23/we-will-rock-you-the-square-sounds-of-the-beach-boys/), how Brian Wilson has always been a colossal cornball, doesn't hold up when you put his music and his productions from 1963-67 into that equation. At that time, he was one of the few producers who had the ears of most in the pop music business, had more clout than I'd bet 98% of people his age and background in the business at that time, and that point continues to be driven home every time another of his peers says in an interview how influential his records at that time were on other artists and producers making pop music. The driving force behind that clout and respect was mostly the way his records sounded and the way they were received by the public and the record biz types alike.

Cornball sells in very large quantities but it doesn't garner the same level of respect and the same aura as innovation.

It's not about hip, it's not about pop-culture iconoclastic imagery, it's about putting out songs that people heard on the radio and on record and considered to be at the forefront of pop recording at that time. Brian *was* competitive at that time and has admitted it, he *was* trying to outdo Spector and the Beatles and others, and he was making records that were cutting-edge for pop or teen music of that era. I'd suggest there was a different kind of drive behind those records and that music, a different kind of mindset that went into creating them which did not go into nearly everything the man released from the 70's onward with a few but very significant exceptions, and even those exceptions had a foot in the past rather than a start-from-scratch mentality. There was that competitive edge in that process which the man himself admits he discarded soon after the Smile era, and making that kind of music no longer appealed to him as much as making records which pleased him.

The statement about cornball would ring more true if the years from, say, 1963-67 were taken out of the equation.

I also think comparing anything from this album to something from the 60's classic era is a mistake, as shown by Brian's reaction when Al attempted to link it somehow to Pet Sounds during the PBS interview. The mindset going into this latest album was not 1965, even though some of the resulting sounds may have come out sounding like 1965.

The new album may be cornball, but to apply that overall to Brian's music from the 60's didn't feel right - not completely wrong, but not right.


Yeah, but Craig, Brian Wilson, even during the hitmakin' years was always way more about the Four Freshmen and Rosemary Clooney -- the epitome of pure corn, though of course awesome! -- than Chuck Berry. His roots have always been in music other people would consider corny/cheesy. The point is that he was able to transform his influences into great songs. But the corn was there -- always. It came out in his songs, too!

And yeah -- there's no point in comparing this record to stuff from the 60s, even though in terms of quality the last few songs are on a par with, say, a Pet Sounds or a Til I Die.

I see the points, but I also don't hear that cornball element near as much as the review would suggest in the final products, especially from the "Golden Age" which I'd list as 1963-67. Freshmen, Clooney, Gershwin...check. However, and I mean this seriously, do we as people who listen to a lot of music hear any of that in the truly great singles the man was making? I Get Around? When I Grow Up? California Girls? Wouldn't It Be Nice?

I could list more but I'd be tempted to say if you played those classic BB singles for people in a blind test next to a stack of Clooney or Freshmen records, the similarities would be threadbare at best. It reminds me of reading various City Paper type publications and 'zines in the early 90's where the music writers would hear a rock band doing a vocal harmony or a jazzy chord change and immediately trot out the "Brian Wilson" comparison tag.

Again, if we take the larger overview of the band's history, specifically the stage act which more fans have spent money on than any new record releases since the 70's, the cornball element is huge and yes, it should be celebrated and enjoyed because it is part of the band's fun identity, no problems from me on that point.

But to paint the recorded legacy of Brian Wilson with that broad of a brush, I think it does paint over what was a young man making among the best and most forward-thinking recordings of his time and among his peer group, and those recordings influenced and continue to influence those in his field. If the cornball element were that strong *at that time*, Brian's records would be in the same bin as Winchester Cathedral or They're Coming To Take Me Away - novelties that sounded interesting but were ultimately forgettable and disposable.

It's just a difference of opinion, not saying either is right or wrong. Reviews and articles should inspire debate and discussion, and this one did just that! It was hard to get past the word or the theme of "cornball" for me.

I don't hear it in the hot hit singles, no, but I surely hear it in some of the ballads. Listen to "Your Summer Dream" or "Ballad of Ole Betsy" and stuff like that, you don't hear that? Those aren't a little corny? I mean, they're gorgeous, sure, but also: a little corny. I could list like a million others, too, even some of the rock tunes. And no, it wouldn't have been "novelty songs." That's not true at all, I don't think. that's not the only "corny" music out there.
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Old Rake
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« Reply #3109 on: May 24, 2012, 09:35:24 AM »

Quote
"Peace and money! Ain't life funny?"

Actually: "Easy Money / Ain't Life Funny."
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« Reply #3110 on: May 24, 2012, 09:36:18 AM »

Also, I find interesting that almost everyone here can slag off everything the BBs did in the 1980s, and yet so many people give anything made now a pass. "You should just be grateful you're getting anything," they say. Please. These guys are making some real money off of this reunion. There's no reason not to expect a product that's good. They aren't doing it for charity. We all hated Joe Thomas, but now we're being told to accept whatever cheesy, digital crap he throws on a song. "If Brian wants to use autotune for artistic reasons, we shouldn't dare criticize it!" OK.

"Peace and money! Ain't life funny?" Those are Mike's lyrics from "Spring Vacation". Shows what this reunion is about for some. There are some good new songs and fun moments here, but there's an undercurrent of something odious going on, too.

i think people aren't hating on joe thomas because the production doesn't sound as bad as imagination, which is why people hated him in the first place.

nobody said we shouldn't criticize brian for using autotune for artistic reasons.  Some people were thinking that all the autotune was being used to tune the voices, which they didn't think was necessary cause the guys can still sing fine. but obviously it's being used for a vocal effect on certain tracks.  So nobody says you can't criticize, people just wanted the right thing to be criticized.

but the big reason people aren't slagging them as much as the 80s is because the songwriting seems to be better.  good songs cures everything.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 09:41:01 AM by Runaways » Logged
monicker
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« Reply #3111 on: May 24, 2012, 09:37:55 AM »

You could not have more thoroughly missed the point I was trying to make. Hint: that's not even close. I'm glad it got your panties up in a bundle, but go back and read again with your hackles *down* this time and see if you get it.

Again: not. even. close.

I'm the one who's angry? Nice straw man there, it's looking good, but you may want to add sunglasses to it. Go back and read my posts and please tell me where you detect my raised hackles, and that i went in with my fists up, ready to fight. It seems you're very eager to disqualify anything i have to say.

And, yeah, i so thoroughly, so completely missed the point. I was not even close, yeah. Dude.

The point of the article was simply that if you are able to overlook the godawful production touches, you're gonna find good songs.

Quote
Eh. My final word is this: if you’re able to overlook the production – if you’re able to disconnect the part of your brain that decides whether something is hip or not hip and makes it matter at all – you’re probably going to love That’s Why God Made The Radio.

Yeah, okay, that's so off. You even went as far as to connect the two ideas with a (misused) hyphen.

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drbeachboy
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« Reply #3112 on: May 24, 2012, 09:42:14 AM »

One particular statement or theme in this review (http://www.letoilemagazine.com/2012/05/23/we-will-rock-you-the-square-sounds-of-the-beach-boys/), how Brian Wilson has always been a colossal cornball, doesn't hold up when you put his music and his productions from 1963-67 into that equation. At that time, he was one of the few producers who had the ears of most in the pop music business, had more clout than I'd bet 98% of people his age and background in the business at that time, and that point continues to be driven home every time another of his peers says in an interview how influential his records at that time were on other artists and producers making pop music. The driving force behind that clout and respect was mostly the way his records sounded and the way they were received by the public and the record biz types alike.

Cornball sells in very large quantities but it doesn't garner the same level of respect and the same aura as innovation.

It's not about hip, it's not about pop-culture iconoclastic imagery, it's about putting out songs that people heard on the radio and on record and considered to be at the forefront of pop recording at that time. Brian *was* competitive at that time and has admitted it, he *was* trying to outdo Spector and the Beatles and others, and he was making records that were cutting-edge for pop or teen music of that era. I'd suggest there was a different kind of drive behind those records and that music, a different kind of mindset that went into creating them which did not go into nearly everything the man released from the 70's onward with a few but very significant exceptions, and even those exceptions had a foot in the past rather than a start-from-scratch mentality. There was that competitive edge in that process which the man himself admits he discarded soon after the Smile era, and making that kind of music no longer appealed to him as much as making records which pleased him.

The statement about cornball would ring more true if the years from, say, 1963-67 were taken out of the equation.

I also think comparing anything from this album to something from the 60's classic era is a mistake, as shown by Brian's reaction when Al attempted to link it somehow to Pet Sounds during the PBS interview. The mindset going into this latest album was not 1965, even though some of the resulting sounds may have come out sounding like 1965.

The new album may be cornball, but to apply that overall to Brian's music from the 60's didn't feel right - not completely wrong, but not right.


Yeah, but Craig, Brian Wilson, even during the hitmakin' years was always way more about the Four Freshmen and Rosemary Clooney -- the epitome of pure corn, though of course awesome! -- than Chuck Berry. His roots have always been in music other people would consider corny/cheesy. The point is that he was able to transform his influences into great songs. But the corn was there -- always. It came out in his songs, too!

And yeah -- there's no point in comparing this record to stuff from the 60s, even though in terms of quality the last few songs are on a par with, say, a Pet Sounds or a Til I Die.

I see the points, but I also don't hear that cornball element near as much as the review would suggest in the final products, especially from the "Golden Age" which I'd list as 1963-67. Freshmen, Clooney, Gershwin...check. However, and I mean this seriously, do we as people who listen to a lot of music hear any of that in the truly great singles the man was making? I Get Around? When I Grow Up? California Girls? Wouldn't It Be Nice?

I could list more but I'd be tempted to say if you played those classic BB singles for people in a blind test next to a stack of Clooney or Freshmen records, the similarities would be threadbare at best. It reminds me of reading various City Paper type publications and 'zines in the early 90's where the music writers would hear a rock band doing a vocal harmony or a jazzy chord change and immediately trot out the "Brian Wilson" comparison tag.

Again, if we take the larger overview of the band's history, specifically the stage act which more fans have spent money on than any new record releases since the 70's, the cornball element is huge and yes, it should be celebrated and enjoyed because it is part of the band's fun identity, no problems from me on that point.

But to paint the recorded legacy of Brian Wilson with that broad of a brush, I think it does paint over what was a young man making among the best and most forward-thinking recordings of his time and among his peer group, and those recordings influenced and continue to influence those in his field. If the cornball element were that strong *at that time*, Brian's records would be in the same bin as Winchester Cathedral or They're Coming To Take Me Away - novelties that sounded interesting but were ultimately forgettable and disposable.

It's just a difference of opinion, not saying either is right or wrong. Reviews and articles should inspire debate and discussion, and this one did just that! It was hard to get past the word or the theme of "cornball" for me.

I don't hear it in the hot hit singles, no, but I surely hear it in some of the ballads. Listen to "Your Summer Dream" or "Ballad of Ole Betsy" and stuff like that, you don't hear that? Those aren't a little corny? I mean, they're gorgeous, sure, but also: a little corny. I could list like a million others, too, even some of the rock tunes. And no, it wouldn't have been "novelty songs." That's not true at all, I don't think. that's not the only "corny" music out there.
Jon, maybe by today's standards they are corny, but in 1963 it was not that corny to sing about your car like it was a long lost love. Some people felt that way about their car. People, whole families only had one car. It was cherished and taken well care of. I come from that time and I know of what I speak. Overall, a very nice review of the album.
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The Brianista Prayer

Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
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« Reply #3113 on: May 24, 2012, 09:42:27 AM »

Physical copies of the CD are out there now, at least if you're Tim Chipping.

http://lockerz.com/s/211434885

Not out in the Netherlands yet, official release here is listed as June 4. Maybe they'll have it like 4 days earlier at the max.
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« Reply #3114 on: May 24, 2012, 09:48:52 AM »

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i think people aren't hating on joe thomas because the production doesn't sound as bad as imagination, which is why people hated him in the first place.

Sometimes, anyway. "Shelter", for example, sounds like vintage Imagination, as does "Private Life of Bill & Sue". Add a little more reverb to "Strange World" and you again have classic Joe Thomas. And so on.
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« Reply #3115 on: May 24, 2012, 09:52:20 AM »

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i think people aren't hating on joe thomas because the production doesn't sound as bad as imagination, which is why people hated him in the first place.

Sometimes, anyway. "Shelter", for example, sounds like vintage Imagination, as does "Private Life of Bill & Sue". Add a little more reverb to "Strange World" and you again have classic Joe Thomas. And so on.
Using autotune as an effect; is this the digital version of reverb and echo in world of today's music making?
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The Brianista Prayer

Oh Brian
Thou Art In Hawthorne,
Harmonied Be Thy name
Your Kingdom Come,
Your Steak Well Done,
On Stage As It Is In Studio,
Give Us This Day, Our Shortenin' Bread
And Forgive Us Our Bootlegs,
As We Also Have Forgiven Our Wife And Managers,
And Lead Us Not Into Kokomo,
But Deliver Us From Mike Love.
Amen.  ---hypehat
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« Reply #3116 on: May 24, 2012, 10:10:20 AM »

I'm not down on the new album.  I just refuse to accept it for anything other than what it is.  I will buy it like the rest of you, and I will enjoy it I'm sure.  And I'm really looking forward to hearing the suite at the end, etc.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but I don't think there is a suite at the end anymore - though there are, perhaps, a few songs in a row, not connected to each other sonically, that have some kind of thematic connection.
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« Reply #3117 on: May 24, 2012, 10:13:18 AM »

According to those who have heard the album, the last three songs flow together without gaps. And the lyrics of those three songs have thematic elements in common. It's still a suite.
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rockandroll
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« Reply #3118 on: May 24, 2012, 10:19:29 AM »

According to those who have heard the album, the last three songs flow together without gaps. And the lyrics of those three songs have thematic elements in common. It's still a suite.

Oh really? That's good to hear. I thought this thread suggested otherwise a few days ago.
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« Reply #3119 on: May 24, 2012, 10:20:43 AM »

Using autotune as an effect; is this the digital version of reverb and echo in world of today's music making?

no, digital reverb and digital echo are the digital versions of reverb and echo.
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Wirestone
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« Reply #3120 on: May 24, 2012, 10:28:10 AM »

Using autotune as an effect; is this the digital version of reverb and echo in world of today's music making?

no, digital reverb and digital echo are the digital versions of reverb and echo.

Because only audio effects developed by the mid-60s (or their approximations) are legitimate, of course.

Autotune, in contemporary pop records, is indeed much like reverb in the 60s.
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Andy B
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« Reply #3121 on: May 24, 2012, 10:40:39 AM »

It looks like it easier to blame anyone but Brian for making a supposed bad record.

I just don't get it. Maybe the album does sound horribly cheesy and dated even by late 90's standards. Maybe Brian is completely happy with the sound. To suggest that Brian is there in name only and that he has had no input into this record nd how it was produced shows a complete lack of respect to Brian and those who support him. It's quite easy to see (judging by the history of the band of the last 50 years, that it is not an easy thing to make a Beach Boys or Brian Wilson record. It's exceedingly hard work and possibly infinitely frustrating for all involved. But maybe all the work and worry and heartache is worth it just to get something. A result. A song that still contains beauftiful melodies, complex harmony structure and those "only Brian can do" moving bass lines in the chords. Those things are still there. I can hear them in these clips of this new album. Brian is there in spades. His magic and unique way with a song is plain to see and hear. And if it had to be that the only way they could satisfy everyones needs and expectations was to get Joe Thomas in to co produce and Mertens to arrange the strings and things (because there no one else in the band can do it including Brian) and so on and on, then so be it. If some folk still want to lust after what is simply not possible then it is their problem and not Brians.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #3122 on: May 24, 2012, 10:47:06 AM »

One particular statement or theme in this review (http://www.letoilemagazine.com/2012/05/23/we-will-rock-you-the-square-sounds-of-the-beach-boys/), how Brian Wilson has always been a colossal cornball, doesn't hold up when you put his music and his productions from 1963-67 into that equation. At that time, he was one of the few producers who had the ears of most in the pop music business, had more clout than I'd bet 98% of people his age and background in the business at that time, and that point continues to be driven home every time another of his peers says in an interview how influential his records at that time were on other artists and producers making pop music. The driving force behind that clout and respect was mostly the way his records sounded and the way they were received by the public and the record biz types alike.

Cornball sells in very large quantities but it doesn't garner the same level of respect and the same aura as innovation.

It's not about hip, it's not about pop-culture iconoclastic imagery, it's about putting out songs that people heard on the radio and on record and considered to be at the forefront of pop recording at that time. Brian *was* competitive at that time and has admitted it, he *was* trying to outdo Spector and the Beatles and others, and he was making records that were cutting-edge for pop or teen music of that era. I'd suggest there was a different kind of drive behind those records and that music, a different kind of mindset that went into creating them which did not go into nearly everything the man released from the 70's onward with a few but very significant exceptions, and even those exceptions had a foot in the past rather than a start-from-scratch mentality. There was that competitive edge in that process which the man himself admits he discarded soon after the Smile era, and making that kind of music no longer appealed to him as much as making records which pleased him.

The statement about cornball would ring more true if the years from, say, 1963-67 were taken out of the equation.

I also think comparing anything from this album to something from the 60's classic era is a mistake, as shown by Brian's reaction when Al attempted to link it somehow to Pet Sounds during the PBS interview. The mindset going into this latest album was not 1965, even though some of the resulting sounds may have come out sounding like 1965.

The new album may be cornball, but to apply that overall to Brian's music from the 60's didn't feel right - not completely wrong, but not right.


Yeah, but Craig, Brian Wilson, even during the hitmakin' years was always way more about the Four Freshmen and Rosemary Clooney -- the epitome of pure corn, though of course awesome! -- than Chuck Berry. His roots have always been in music other people would consider corny/cheesy. The point is that he was able to transform his influences into great songs. But the corn was there -- always. It came out in his songs, too!

And yeah -- there's no point in comparing this record to stuff from the 60s, even though in terms of quality the last few songs are on a par with, say, a Pet Sounds or a Til I Die.

I see the points, but I also don't hear that cornball element near as much as the review would suggest in the final products, especially from the "Golden Age" which I'd list as 1963-67. Freshmen, Clooney, Gershwin...check. However, and I mean this seriously, do we as people who listen to a lot of music hear any of that in the truly great singles the man was making? I Get Around? When I Grow Up? California Girls? Wouldn't It Be Nice?

I could list more but I'd be tempted to say if you played those classic BB singles for people in a blind test next to a stack of Clooney or Freshmen records, the similarities would be threadbare at best. It reminds me of reading various City Paper type publications and 'zines in the early 90's where the music writers would hear a rock band doing a vocal harmony or a jazzy chord change and immediately trot out the "Brian Wilson" comparison tag.

Again, if we take the larger overview of the band's history, specifically the stage act which more fans have spent money on than any new record releases since the 70's, the cornball element is huge and yes, it should be celebrated and enjoyed because it is part of the band's fun identity, no problems from me on that point.

But to paint the recorded legacy of Brian Wilson with that broad of a brush, I think it does paint over what was a young man making among the best and most forward-thinking recordings of his time and among his peer group, and those recordings influenced and continue to influence those in his field. If the cornball element were that strong *at that time*, Brian's records would be in the same bin as Winchester Cathedral or They're Coming To Take Me Away - novelties that sounded interesting but were ultimately forgettable and disposable.

It's just a difference of opinion, not saying either is right or wrong. Reviews and articles should inspire debate and discussion, and this one did just that! It was hard to get past the word or the theme of "cornball" for me.

I don't hear it in the hot hit singles, no, but I surely hear it in some of the ballads. Listen to "Your Summer Dream" or "Ballad of Ole Betsy" and stuff like that, you don't hear that? Those aren't a little corny? I mean, they're gorgeous, sure, but also: a little corny. I could list like a million others, too, even some of the rock tunes. And no, it wouldn't have been "novelty songs." That's not true at all, I don't think. that's not the only "corny" music out there.

I do think there is an inherent risk if not danger in doing ballads: Ballads by their design are often considered corny, right or wrong. When the hair metal dudes in the 80's pulled out the Ovations, strummed an earnest G-C-Em-D chord progression, and got all the fans waving the Bics in the air, no matter how serious or heartfelt the song was, a lot of people's reaction was "F*ckin' hell, sellout...". And it was corny. But it did work for that scene.

Paul McCartney - this man has straddled so many stylistic lines in the past 20 years, from being the all-out rockabilly guy playing the Cavern again with various members of prog-rock bands, to being the arena rock touring workhorse, to being the new Paul with a hot new young band that knows and respects his music new and old, to being the "cutting edge" Paul who worked with various electronica-fueled DJ's, remixers, and hip producers on everything from trance to soundscapes worthy of a Radiohead production (hint, hint)...YET, where did he go on his latest album? He became Paul the sappy (corny?) balladeer delivering love songs to those love-drunk or lovelorn masses of fans that might still swoon over Yesterday and My Love on vinyl.

Did he embrace the sappy, corny balladeer image after running from it for a few decades? Did he do it with a wink and a nod? Or was it just the album he wanted to make?

Would we be able to label Paul "the sappy balladeer" on a future release and have it stick? Likewise, is Brian's music corny?

I think with Brian and the Beach Boys in general, there is a double-edged sword when they're labeled a certain way. They're called hip, you play a record like "Ballad Of Ole Betsy" for someone who you've told about their being hip, and the reaction may be "What?" Or it may be "Damn, that's great!". Then get someone who had their girlfriend dancing on their shoulders at an outdoor BB concert to "Fun Fun Fun" and play them an album cut like "You Still Believe In Me", and they might say "What?" or "Damn, that's great!"

The room is big enough for both, and both can and should be celebrated and enjoyed. However, I do think any "new" Beach Boys album has not in 30+ years nor will it match anything close to what was happening in, say, 1965, and I'm looking at Brian, thinking that this man realizes this and is comfortable with this.

I do feel that, like Paul, he has woven enough styles in and out of his music through the years from bad to truly magnificent and describing this in too broad of a term like corny works for some of his music but may also discredit when he was truly cutting-edge, and considered far from corny or sappy or whatever other adjectives we could use. This may again revert back to the image versus the music thing which will always rage...

This brings up a lot of issues which many of us in a certain age group never experienced. The Beach Boys were *huge* stars in 1964...48 freakin' years ago. Round it off to 50....now go back to when we were 16-17, whatever age when music became one of the most important things in our lives and existence...

Could you imagine getting this excited over an artist from 50 years ago coming out with a new album? In my time that was Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller...the big band era from the 30's and 40's. Most of them were not making new albums, and most of them were dead and gone. Now the Beach Boys, McCartney, Stones, etc are that generation time-wise to the teenage audiences today. Talk about cultural shift...Jagger just nailed a hosting gig on SNL, and compare that to the image of the tuxedo-ed older jazz musicians who would come on Ed Sullivan or Hollywood Palace alongside the "kids" playing rock....

That element is as culturally significant to a new Beach Boys album as almost anything I can think of. The fact that a record like Pet Sounds is to teenagers as old as Chick Webb or Bing Crosby was to me, yet is still considered "hip" and worth owning and enjoying is huge. Huge! I love it. Smiley In that way, the fact a new album is even being discussed across several generations makes it less corny by nature. Even though many of the new grooves on this album may be corny.
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Jeff Mason
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« Reply #3123 on: May 24, 2012, 10:51:11 AM »

Craig -- I see exactly what you are saying, but I also believe Jon is accurate as well.  I suspect that the classics of 63-67 have multiple dimensions -- Brian not writing for himself, Brian reacting to what he hears on the radio as opposed to what he loves, maybe Carl and Mike have more influence than we give them credit for (Carl after all was the Chuck Berry nut of the band, and Mike's words spoke most often in these days).  I think there's room to say that Brian had a period where he cared to be "hip" and had the ability to be hip, but that he accomplished this by denying his own voice in his music in some ways.  I think back on the review of the Smile Sessions which said that Smile sounded like a square white boy on acid, and it really does.  If you think about it, that oddness in his music didn't take flower until after acid entered his world; maybe that had an impact too.

I think Jon's more worried about those fans who only came to the Beach Boys because of Pet Sounds and Smile and have no room to consider an album like, say, MIU as something worth listening to.  I think he's saying that it is going to sound more like the latter than the former (and actually, probably more like Imagination if it's going to be "caribbean" and all).  If you are a fan who only likes them because of the "artistic" side of the music, the commerical sheen will be off-putting.  I get that.  You have to be willing to let your love for music that is looked down upon, the Perry Como instead of the Sinatra, to get into the album.
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Andy B
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« Reply #3124 on: May 24, 2012, 10:54:01 AM »

I think Jon's more worried about those fans who only came to the Beach Boys because of Pet Sounds and Smile and have no room to consider an album like, say, MIU as something worth listening to.  I think he's saying that it is going to sound more like the latter than the former (and actually, probably more like Imagination if it's going to be "caribbean" and all).  If you are a fan who only likes them because of the "artistic" side of the music, the commerical sheen will be off-putting.  I get that.  You have to be willing to let your love for music that is looked down upon, the Perry Como instead of the Sinatra, to get into the album.

Exactly.
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