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Author Topic: LISTEN TO THE LAST SONG, ON THE ISLAND, & I'M FEELING SAD!! BBC RADIO  (Read 23439 times)
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« Reply #150 on: March 31, 2015, 10:08:31 AM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
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« Reply #151 on: March 31, 2015, 10:11:31 AM »

Something occurred to me thinking about this discussion on "Last Song". Remember the phrase "lyrics so deft as to defy casual interpretation" as it was applied by (I believe) Derek Taylor in one of his Smile writings? Consider how that applied to the lyrics of Smile and how for decades we got any number of interpretations from fans, we got any number of explanations and answers from both Wilson and Parks as to the meanings of some of these songs, and how sometimes the answers could vary from suggesting there was no meaning, to a number of contradictions or multiple meanings for the same songs. Van Dyke Parks himself has had interviews where his answers run the gamut from directly on-point to veering off into nuances and riddles rather than definitive statements.

I had to compare that to what has played out this week surrounding "Last Song". Look at how many quotes and how many interpretations have been posted already, and the song was just heard for the first time only days ago.

I was also suffering from my bouts with insomnia last night and perhaps not cutting to the chase with what I was saying. But I'm that way when I'm perfectly well-rested too, some might say.  Grin

At this point I believe what Brian said, I believe what Joe said, I believe what Ray said. I don't see much of an argument possible to suggest each of those described elements of the song are not exactly what we hear in the final result. As much as it is about a relationship it is about the band dissolving in 2012 as it is about the Wilson brothers.

Trace the normal development of many songs as they start as an idea or a concept and ebb and flow through the writing process to become what we hear as a finished result. It may have started in a notebook a decade ago, sat collecting dust for years, then one day that idea is revisited and developed further. Events may have taken place in the interim as that notebook was collecting dust which might put a different shade of coloring on those old lyrics. Whatever they may have originated as could take on a different meaning as you read them back with years of happenings and events and other water under the bridge of everyday life to put different and perhaps even more meanings into those original words and ideas than what was in mind at the time. A song about not wanting to lose love when you had it could morph into something different if in the subsequent years between writing and finishing that song you did in fact end up losing that love. Add another verse, a bridge, another few words in a chorus...the song about not wanting to lose the love you had can transform into lamenting that same love.

Songwriting/Lyric Writing 101...well, actually Songwriting 103 perhaps as 101 is more about analyzing rhyme schemes and experimenting with pentameter and all of that jazz.  Cheesy...but songs develop and sometimes can have not only multiple meanings but also meanings above and beyond what was originally in mind when the first inspiration struck.

Again, I think all of the talk about "Last Song" is actually pretty revelatory in terms of the kind of music Brian is releasing on a new album in 2015. It is layered, there are interpretations beyond the surface, and it has fans talking about the lyrics and the music in ways beyond knee-jerk reactions and no-brainer interpretations and definitions. There is a lot to consider, a lot to take in that perhaps requires more than a cursory listen or reading of the words. This one to me is a bookend to "Summers Gone", that kind of song that Brian is just so damn good at doing and which may be one of the strengths of his recent work in general. Beyond the ear candy, beyond the catchy melodies and the 3-minute hook-laden songs, you have things like "Summers Gone" and "Last Song" which have multiple layers of both meaning and enjoyment beyond what is on the surface.

The man has still got it.
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« Reply #152 on: March 31, 2015, 10:32:21 AM »

Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but you can now buy On the Island on iTunes.  I'm just going to hold off as the album's only a week away and I'm not a huge fan of the song anyway.
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« Reply #153 on: March 31, 2015, 10:50:28 AM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.
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« Reply #154 on: March 31, 2015, 11:08:13 AM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.

Maybe there is something to consider in the bigger picture within this quote from Brian himself as printed today in a review:

“I don’t know why so many songs lack melody today. Maybe songwriters have run out of them. A lot of music now isn’t very positive. Who knows why?

Maybe there could be a point that has been reached in the way music is experienced in popular culture where the expectation is to hear negativity in the music and thus negativity becomes the norm rather than the exception when experiencing it. Listeners get bombarded with negative songs, perhaps when the overall vibe of something new is more positive or uplifting it's a jarring thing to hear. When cynicism and an assumption of a negative vibe running through songs starts creeping into music as an expected element among listeners, maybe hearing something positive as an exception becomes akin to the water changing from warm to ice cold as you're in the shower.

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« Reply #155 on: March 31, 2015, 11:09:59 AM »

Do we know who wrote what for the song? Did Joe or Brian write the lyrics? Or did they both write the lyrics? You could have two or more co-creators with their own inspirations. I suppose.

From WSJ review:

“Joe wrote some of the chord patterns and I did the melodies,” said Mr. Wilson. “We both wrote the lyrics. We’re on the same frequency.”
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« Reply #156 on: March 31, 2015, 11:35:12 AM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.

I can - that's why I love the Beach Boys. But this isn't great.
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« Reply #157 on: March 31, 2015, 12:06:39 PM »

Do we know who wrote what for the song? Did Joe or Brian write the lyrics? Or did they both write the lyrics? You could have two or more co-creators with their own inspirations. I suppose.

From WSJ review:

“Joe wrote some of the chord patterns and I did the melodies,” said Mr. Wilson. “We both wrote the lyrics. We’re on the same frequency.”

There it is.
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« Reply #158 on: March 31, 2015, 01:01:03 PM »

Why does it come across some posters here seem to have a vested interest the lyrics on NPP never refer to the C50 breakup?

Smiley Smilers who normally never discuss lyrics have turned into self-proclaimed prominent discourse analysts a la Jacques Derrida. C50 is a major and recent event in Brian's life so it does not seem too unlikely it could have influenced some of the NPP lyrics.

Posters here who have never met Brian seem to know exactly what Brian means, that only tells us one thing, mentioned posters have no idea what lines Brian wrote and why he wrote them. Case closed.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 01:07:26 PM by Swedish Frog » Logged

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« Reply #159 on: March 31, 2015, 01:20:40 PM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.

I can - that's why I love the Beach Boys. But this isn't great.
Why is this a problem for people? It's a strange thing with Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fans, as though many of us need to constantly reaffirm the fact that we enjoy Brian's music. Very odd.

Opinions being what they are, how about we relax and accept the fact that not everybody's going to like the album - even die-hard fans? Hell, up until I heard "Sail Away," I was not a big fan of what I'd heard from NPP thus far.

The problem with this kind of sh*t - sniping back and forth over perceived slights to Brian/Mike/etc - is that it ruins discussion of the music. It's even worse when the sniping is about issues SmileySmile posters have with each other.

I'm excited for the release of NPP, so I come to Smileysmile.net, only to see nearly every thread devolve, at some point, into these types of shenanigans. It's a waste of everybody's time, and it makes it a lot less fun to read the board. As much as I love some of the posters here, I don't want to read about their personal issues with each other. Life is too damned short (and no one is likely to 'pier pressure' others into sharing their opinions. It's a fools errand).

I humbly submit that we get back to analysis and discussion of Brian and the Beach Boys, secure in the knowledge that one person disliking the album - or another person being a cheerleader for the album - does not need to affect one's own, individual enjoyment of the music.
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« Reply #160 on: March 31, 2015, 01:36:01 PM »

The problem with this kind of sh*t - sniping back and forth over perceived slights to Brian/Mike/etc - is that it ruins discussion of the music. It's even worse when the sniping is about issues SmileySmile posters have with each other.

The issue I have is that a blanket dismissal like that isn't actually great for discussion. It shuts it down and puts other people on the defensive.

And the whole album isn't even out yet to judge.
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« Reply #161 on: March 31, 2015, 01:40:45 PM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.

I can - that's why I love the Beach Boys. But this isn't great.
Why is this a problem for people? It's a strange thing with Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fans, as though many of us need to constantly reaffirm the fact that we enjoy Brian's music. Very odd.

Opinions being what they are, how about we relax and accept the fact that not everybody's going to like the album - even die-hard fans? Hell, up until I heard "Sail Away," I was not a big fan of what I'd heard from NPP thus far.

The problem with this kind of sh*t - sniping back and forth over perceived slights to Brian/Mike/etc - is that it ruins discussion of the music. It's even worse when the sniping is about issues SmileySmile posters have with each other.

I'm excited for the release of NPP, so I come to Smileysmile.net, only to see nearly every thread devolve, at some point, into these types of shenanigans. It's a waste of everybody's time, and it makes it a lot less fun to read the board. As much as I love some of the posters here, I don't want to read about their personal issues with each other. Life is too damned short (and no one is likely to 'pier pressure' others into sharing their opinions. It's a fools errand).

I humbly submit that we get back to analysis and discussion of Brian and the Beach Boys, secure in the knowledge that one person disliking the album - or another person being a cheerleader for the album - does not need to affect one's own, individual enjoyment of the music.
I think it's funny that you write a long post about your opinions, or whatever, saying that others shouldn't do the same, because it distracts. I don't have an issue (personal or universal) with anything. Isn't this supposed to be a discussion forum? I'm perfectly okay, if somebody hates new Brian Wilson music. But I still think it's a shame, especially in this case. And I believe I have the right to express that, if I want.

On the Island is thus far the weakest track for me. It just doesn't really wake anything special in me. Maybe it's the lyrics, which are kinda dull. Zooey sounds nice, but when the lyrics are what they are, and the genre in itself is kinda dull, what can you do. I'm Feeling Sad sounds fantastic though, it's just the kinda classic BW tune which you'd hope to last longer. I'm eagerly waiting how all these songs fit together and what kind of picture thay make as a whole. What I've heard yet is the best Beach Boys/Brian Wilson music since 1977. And that's a lot to say!
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« Reply #162 on: March 31, 2015, 03:28:58 PM »

I've said this before on here a dozen times and at the risk of repeating myself and annoying everyone, I'll say it again. Context is everything. I didn't care for "Runaway Dancer" when I first heard it. Now that I've heard it in the context and (all-important) sequence of the album, it works for me. I would suggest that before some posters write off the entire record based on the tracks they've heard thus far, that they wait..buy the album...because we ALL should want to support Brian's music, right?....and then listen to it as a singular experience from start to finish and THEN make up your mind. I've had it for less than 24 hours and I keep listening to it straight through because it was meant to be heard that way and it works brilliantly.

And the copy I have is not really mine anyway. It's the radio station's copy. That means I'm going to Target on Tuesday like everybody else to get the CD with those bonus tracks. BTW Is there a new recording of "Love and Mercy" or is it either the 1988 or 1995 version tacked on at the end to promote the film?

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« Reply #163 on: March 31, 2015, 03:40:31 PM »

No one knows!
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« Reply #164 on: March 31, 2015, 03:53:27 PM »

There is so much coming out at the moment and we have pages and pages of this conjecture. Brian would be pisssing himself laughing!
 Lyrical perception people that's what we have here!
 Its all relevant in the time scale of any one particular event or events.
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« Reply #165 on: March 31, 2015, 05:33:33 PM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.
It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.

I can - that's why I love the Beach Boys. But this isn't great.
Why is this a problem for people? It's a strange thing with Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fans, as though many of us need to constantly reaffirm the fact that we enjoy Brian's music. Very odd.

Opinions being what they are, how about we relax and accept the fact that not everybody's going to like the album - even die-hard fans? Hell, up until I heard "Sail Away," I was not a big fan of what I'd heard from NPP thus far.

The problem with this kind of sh*t - sniping back and forth over perceived slights to Brian/Mike/etc - is that it ruins discussion of the music. It's even worse when the sniping is about issues SmileySmile posters have with each other.

I'm excited for the release of NPP, so I come to Smileysmile.net, only to see nearly every thread devolve, at some point, into these types of shenanigans. It's a waste of everybody's time, and it makes it a lot less fun to read the board. As much as I love some of the posters here, I don't want to read about their personal issues with each other. Life is too damned short (and no one is likely to 'pier pressure' others into sharing their opinions. It's a fools errand).

I humbly submit that we get back to analysis and discussion of Brian and the Beach Boys, secure in the knowledge that one person disliking the album - or another person being a cheerleader for the album - does not need to affect one's own, individual enjoyment of the music.
I think it's funny that you write a long post about your opinions, or whatever, saying that others shouldn't do the same, because it distracts. I don't have an issue (personal or universal) with anything. Isn't this supposed to be a discussion forum? I'm perfectly okay, if somebody hates new Brian Wilson music. But I still think it's a shame, especially in this case. And I believe I have the right to express that, if I want.

On the Island is thus far the weakest track for me. It just doesn't really wake anything special in me. Maybe it's the lyrics, which are kinda dull. Zooey sounds nice, but when the lyrics are what they are, and the genre in itself is kinda dull, what can you do. I'm Feeling Sad sounds fantastic though, it's just the kinda classic BW tune which you'd hope to last longer. I'm eagerly waiting how all these songs fit together and what kind of picture thay make as a whole. What I've heard yet is the best Beach Boys/Brian Wilson music since 1977. And that's a lot to say!
Good point. However, I wasn't saying people shouldn't express their opinions - exactly the opposite. I was trying to say that the personal sniping makes certain threads on this board a real chore to wade through.  In other words, I'd much rather read (just as an example) your opinion about Brian's new music than your opinion about my opinion about Barry's opinion. Does that make sense?

I can't speak for anyone else, but the tedium of wading through posts that aren't about the music - yes, like the post I am typing right now - has kept me off this board for long stretches. I think this is a shame because when people do discuss the music, it is my favorite message board around.

Now, back to the music... "I'm Feeling Sad" might be my favorite track so far. Shades of "Message Man" and "Just Like Me and You" - pure Brian. Absolute melodic bliss. Why is this a bonus track? Maybe I should just be happy that I don't have to wait for Brian's third solo box set in 2033 to hear it!

I think it's safe to say that No Pier Pressure is not a repeat of either GIOMH or TLOS. It is its own animal, for better and for worse. I'm not crazy about some of the guest vocalists, nor the modern sheen of "Runaway Dancer," but so far it is clear to me that a lot more time, thought and effort went into the production of album than, for example, That's Why God Made The Radio.
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« Reply #166 on: March 31, 2015, 08:10:27 PM »

Why does it come across some posters here seem to have a vested interest the lyrics on NPP never refer to the C50 breakup?

Smiley Smilers who normally never discuss lyrics have turned into self-proclaimed prominent discourse analysts a la Jacques Derrida. C50 is a major and recent event in Brian's life so it does not seem too unlikely it could have influenced some of the NPP lyrics.

Posters here who have never met Brian seem to know exactly what Brian means, that only tells us one thing, mentioned posters have no idea what lines Brian wrote and why he wrote them. Case closed.

I agree and say not only could the events of C50 have influenced some of the lyrics, I believe they did influence some of the lyrics. In this thread we have comments posted from one of the writers, another one of the writers, and a personal friend of one of the writers. People who, in other words, have not only met Brian but have also worked on the very lyrics in question with him and who heard the song and Brian's comments about it. And Brian himself.  Smiley

That's as close to the source and answers as we could hope to get, right? If one of those involved says this is what the song was about and this is what it became, that is my "case closed" moment. Can we share opinions, of course. Can we disagree with someone's analysis of those words and opinions, of course. But when you have comments from even one of those individuals who can speak from direct involvement and contact, I have to agree, Swedish Frog, that it's hard to deny the influence of C50 as a factor if the person most intimately involved with creating the song says that was the case.

I'll repeat a comment I made:

At this point I believe what Brian said, I believe what Joe said, I believe what Ray said. I don't see much of an argument possible to suggest each of those described elements of the song are not exactly what we hear in the final result. As much as it is about a relationship it is about the band dissolving in 2012 as it is about the Wilson brothers.


A song's creation can be simple or multifaceted - In this case, any of the above "factors" given by these people who really do know are the ones I'm going with.
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« Reply #167 on: March 31, 2015, 09:17:57 PM »

While I can agree with GF's multi-faceted approach, the insinuation that "some posters have a vested interest in the lyrics on NPP never refer to the C50 breakup" sounds like more of this conspiracy stuff this board has sunk to over the past year. This "us-vs-them" mentality sickens me. Ugh!

I can see interpreting the second verse as having something to do with the C50 breakup, in the way that we later found out that "Love and Mercy" was inspired by when Brian was in a particularly bad frame of mind under Dr. Landy's "care", although the song was written with a more universal message that could apply to anyone who was unhappy about anything and wishing for some love and mercy (and has been accepted as such). Given the tone of the entire album, with it's constant themes of growing old and recognizing that your spouse is what's keeping you going, "Last Song" works best as something in a more last days/romantic vein to these ears (as morbid as that might sound).  

...and I don't even think it's one of the best songs on the album (that would be "One Kind Of Love" IMO).  
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« Reply #168 on: March 31, 2015, 10:47:45 PM »

In this thread we have comments posted from one of the writers, another one of the writers, and a personal friend of one of the writers. People who, in other words, have not only met Brian but have also worked on the very lyrics in question with him and who heard the song and Brian's comments about it. And Brian himself.  Smiley

And the joy of it is, they still contradict not only each other, but in one instance, themselves. The Beatles were never this much fun.  Grin

My best advice ? Think Queen of Hearts.
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« Reply #169 on: April 01, 2015, 03:30:11 AM »

I think this may be the first time I don't bother buying the new Brian Wilson album. Everything I've heard so far from NPP is cheesy, corny, clichéd, predictable and has very little to do with the work of the great Brian Wilson. Sorry, but that's it. There were some great moments on TWGMTR, but the well has finally run dry.

Not so sure about the new material being predictable considering a song like Runaway Dancer. But I do share your sentiments about at least some of the music being corny and clichéd.

Added: I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Brian's in his 70s, he's responsible for many of my very favorite records and he has every right to make music considered corny by a small faction of his fans. Save for I'm Feeling Sad, On the Island and (to a lesser extent) Sail Away I'm not too thrilled about the new material but I'm sure I'll give the whole album a spin anyway!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 03:46:54 AM by phirnis » Logged
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« Reply #170 on: April 01, 2015, 04:57:59 AM »

It's a bummer that you can't enjoy great music. Guess it's not to everyone's taste.

Just an observation, not a criticism: Your first phrase might be interpreted as a snide remark. Your second phrase of course hits the spot: What is great or not depends on the person's individual taste. I have a friend who rates certain music as great that I find unbearably stupid.


I can - that's why I love the Beach Boys. But this isn't great.

It is great to some people obviously. I'm not yet that enthusiastic about it either, but from the clips I heard so far, it will definitely be better than the BBs tracks I rate as worst.


What I've heard yet is the best Beach Boys/Brian Wilson music since 1977. And that's a lot to say!

What I've heard I like way more than BB/BW music from 1977, but so far it doesn't beat "Midnight's Another Day", "Isn't It Time", or "Summer's Gone".
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« Reply #171 on: April 01, 2015, 11:35:04 AM »

It's both interesting and informative to read the diversity of opinions that have been expressed about NPP. I will reserve final judgment until a listen-to of the entire album. All I can say from what I have heard so far is that, for the first time since perhaps-oh, I don't know, never--I have stopped listening to a BW song before it was over. Long before it was over, because it just failed to grab me in any respect. I didn't recognize anything that I have learned to love for almost 50 years. The selections with Al and those with Blondie are a marvelous trip back in time and so enjoyable. Matt's falsetto too. But the songs where Brian carries it alone, or where he is in a duet with someone I never heard of, nope--it doesn't interest me. The final suite in TWGWTR--you bet. The actual TWGMTR single--fabuous. And I can certainly get beyond the intro to "IAT" to really enjoy that one. But NPP...sorry, no. And I am sorry. But if HE is happy with it, that's good enough for me.
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« Reply #172 on: April 01, 2015, 11:40:32 AM »

Nice to see that a new member has decided to register and spend both of his / her first two posts bad-mouthing the new album!

... And people make fun of those of us who suspect conspiracies in BB/BW land.
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« Reply #173 on: April 01, 2015, 01:25:08 PM »

Nice to see that a new member has decided to register and spend both of his / her first two posts bad-mouthing the new album!

... And people make fun of those of us who suspect conspiracies in BB/BW land.
I was only saying something around this very subject in an earlier thread.
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It’s like he hired a fashion consultant and told her to make him look “punchable.”
Some Guy, 2012
"Donald Trump makes Mike Love look like an asshole"
Me ,2015.
Matt Etherton
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« Reply #174 on: April 01, 2015, 07:14:25 PM »

I've been reading the comments, and I think it's a big mistake to compare Brian the solo artist to The Beach Boys. In my mind, they are two very different things.
I personally love The Beach Boys; the solo stuff is generally "eh".  I know Brain is much akin to The Messiah around here, but I find his solo catalog boring. Same for Al's solo stuff.  It's like The Rolling Stones to me....group=great. Solo=yawn.

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