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649763 Posts in 25977 Topics by 3702 Members - Latest Member: GV August 23, 2019, 11:56:51 PM
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Author Topic: 12 Side of Summer - Review  (Read 1865 times)
BubbaFide
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« on: July 19, 2019, 10:36:46 AM »

Just my first thoughts on Mike's new album.  A this point, I am grateful for new music from the guys, so cheers to Mike and his band for putting this out there.  

IMO the strongest tracks are:

1-  Here Comes the Sun - the new arrangement is good.  The song is a classic and one of my all time favorites.  No reason to remake the original note-for-note - Mike and his band took a risk in redoing a classic and succeeded in pulling it off.
2 - Girl From Impanema - Nice arrangement of another classic and ML vocal is excellent.  I must have heard 50 versions of this song, and ML is one of the better ones.
3 - California Beach - very catchy, fun, breezy and light


Good tracks:

Rockaway Beach - not the the Ramones, but still decent and I enjoy this one.    ML vocal seems a lot stronger in some of the concert footage than on the recording though.

Keepin' the Summer Alive - good arrangement - nice guitar work and  ML vocal give the song a new feel

Summertime Blues - I really like the BB arrangement of this song, but I have heard ML vocal stronger in many concerts footage than on this recording.

California Sun - fun and has good energy.


Not sure why Mike, Brian, and Al re-record classic BB tunes they sang leads on?!?!?!?  

Surfin - I like this version better than the version from SIP.  

Surfin Safari.    Not a bad version, but really unnecessary


Just why:

On and On and Over and Over.  What is the reasoning behind remaking some lack luster tunes from Mike first solo album?

For whatever reason, Mike vocals are inconsistent.  On some of the songs, he sounds great.  Others, he sounds every bit of 80 YO.

I wish Mike would have done a remake '65 Love Affair by Paul Davis rather than remaking one of the BB songs or the Abba track!!!

I know that album will likely get blasted because its from ML - and its not essential, but its fun and the top 3 tracks are really good.  
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 10:52:03 AM by BubbaFide » Logged
NateRuvin
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 12:37:40 PM »

My take after listening last night:
Just listened to the album. Overall, I actually really like it. Mike's age definitely shows in his vocals, but that's expected for anyone nearing 80. Overall, it's a great effort. I'm glad Surfin Safari wasn't an exact note for note remake, the new groove is pretty cool. Here Comes The Sun actually sounds really nice on here, better than it did in it's live debut. I really enjoy Summertime Blues and Rockaway Beach. KTSA is pretty good, but I would've preferred Cowsill to take the lead, but Mike's is pretty good. It's not high art, but this album is definitely a lot of fun.


After listening to the album again today, I still stand by what I said, and agree with much of what BubbaFide said too. Mike's voice is showing his age in some parts, but he sounds absolutely fantastic on some parts too. The production is a lot stronger than UTL and RFTS, the autotune, while still there if you listen closely, is much less offensive than, I Get Around from UTL, for example. The production sounds really fresh and mellow. I actually thouroughly enjoyed all of The BBs remakes this time. None of them felt pointless. Surfin was given the proper "ballsy" arrangement it's never been given, Surfin Safari has a nice new relaxing groove, Mike's vocals are kickass on It's OK, and it's honestly just really cool to see Mike revisit the much forgotten KTSA. I really hope KTSA returns to The Beach Boys setlist, hell, even if to promote this album, and play a Carl composition during a Beach Boys show. I can't say I'm crazy about California Sun and Over and Over, but Mike just sounds like he's having a blast singing the songs he loves, and it's contagious. This is essentially, a phenomenal summer album. And given the title, I think that's what Mike and co. were going for. If that's the case, they really achieved their goal, in creating this warm, fun album.
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rab2591
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 03:48:35 PM »

Since no one else has actually linked to a copy of this album, here ya go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plvvOo4308s&list=OLAK5uy_kOM8GpUlrb8jljl2YQSmZljUVm72d1ZtE
https://music.apple.com/us/album/12-sides-of-summer/1464934535

PLEASE LISTEN TO THE TRACKS BEFORE YOU SPEND HARD EARNED MONEY BUYING THIS ALBUM BASED ON OVERZEALOUS REVIEWS (NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE). Seriously, if this is your cup of tea, great! But listen to the tracks (or samples of them on iTunes) yourself to see if this actually sounds like a phenomenal album with ballsy, risky, contagious songs before you spend your money on it.

Quote
Mike's age definitely shows in his vocals, but that's expected for anyone nearing 80

How could you tell when the digital processing slathered on his vocal tracks on every song completely destroys any natural sound of his voice? This is what blows my mind: I'm pretty sure that Mike has a good voice. I have heard the rare live track where he sounds spot on. And in a recording studio setting (where one is allowed as many takes as they want) I just don't see how they couldn't find a way to keep Mike's natural voice intact. But instead every track on here sounds like Mike's vocals are being fed through an electric chair. It's incredibly odd especially since Mike was offended enough by the idea of auto-tune that he ripped Brian about it when NPP came out. Does he even listen to these tracks before they're mastered/released? Or were his qualms about possible auto-tune on 'The Right Time' just a petulant way to piss off his cousin? I'm assuming the latter.

Quote
I know that album will likely get blasted because its from ML

I legit don't think anyone needs to travel anywhere outside of this album to find reason to dislike this album. Put it another way, if this exact album were recorded by John Doe in Minneapolis, Minnesota and put on Soundcloud and someone linked it here, I highly doubt we'd see these same positive statements seen above. This album will likely get blasted solely because Hanson is a backdrop for robo-Mike vocals on a remake of a classic Beach Boys song.

I'm personally not going to do a song-by-song review like I have in the past. This album is just not my thing and I'll leave it at that. Props to those who do dig this, and I'm glad some will find great enjoyment from this album. I'm also happy that Mike is doing his thing in the studio.
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The Beach Boys legacy is still being mortared to this day...it has a solid and unbreakable foundation of incredible songs that tower above most bands, yet some bricks are more brittle and ugly than others (even some bricks put down more recently)...thus is the nature of any entity that continues to exist. You are not defined solely by your good achievements in life, you're also defined by those unpleasant moments too. This law of life, thankfully, helps keep us all in check.
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 04:50:00 PM »

Seems agreeable enough. Covers of BB tunes are a tad irrelevant. Given the amount of effort Mike likely put into it (moderate), I derive a roughly equivalent amount of pleasure.
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Wata
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 10:30:49 PM »

I started listening to the album as soon as it was released on iTunes at midnight. I might well be among the first to listen to it (outside of the insiders)  :D

Overall, while I don't prefer it to Unleash The Love (Disc 1) or Reason for The Season (first seven songs), the album is a cooling, fun listen. It's refreshing to listen to Mike rocks hard on tracks like "Summertime Blues" and "Rockaway Beach", and croon in his mellow voice on "Here Comes The Sun" and "The Girl from Ipanema". The covers of BB songs are weaker in comparison, but they're still listenable unlike some of Mike's past output (i.e. Unleash the Love Disc 2 & Summer In Paradise). I thought the arrangement of "Surfin' Safari" was very novel.

"Here Comes The Sun" and "Rockaway Beach" are easily the highlights, with the former noted for its bossa nova arrangement. It's no That Lucky Old Sun, but I appreciate Mike's overall efforts here.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 10:11:59 AM »

It's the same album Mike had already made several times throughout the 90's...NASCAR, his other Meleco releases, and even before with the Radio Shack project, etc. If the formula worked and he actually sold records with this kind of music, it would make sense to "do it again". In this case, it's all the same cliches and some nods to Beach Boys classics that may have been intended as tributes but come off sounding like rip-offs done not to serve the song or the arrangement, but just to say "Hey, this is the hum-be-dum section from the early GV mixes...grafted onto a lyric about a guy trying to pick up a babe at a bar using his fame!" And Mike didn't even write that lyric... LOL

The arrangements and overall sounds and textures on these tracks...again, it's just like the stuff Mike did on NASCAR, the Adrian Baker stuff, the Meleco releases, etc. Only this time he manages to make what are actual live instruments sound like sequences and synth/sample based keyboard sounds in the process, especially noting the drums on certain tracks. Do people want to hear 90's digital-soaked production that was cheesy back in the 90's on tracks from 2019?

Surfin Safari with a funky, half-time drum groove...what? Why? Not in any way an improvement, not successful at all in updating or enhancing the original. Again, the only thing missing might be Mark McGrath yelling "Do it!" or "Surf's up, brah..." during the breaks. "Here Comes The Sun", enough said when the video was posted of him doing it live on stage. One of the all-time great and most uplifting tracks turned into a mournful dirge and Muzak, easy-listening style backing music. "Over And Over" with a synthesized-sounding reggae beat and various awoom, awoom, awoom style backing vocals? The original's energy gets drowned in a bottom-shelf strawberry daiquiri rained out beachfront cabana bar feel.  "California Sun" with the words "ooooo...shimmy shimmy" harmonized? Really? Whoever arranged this managed to take a danceable, energetic 60's garage rock staple and try to turn it into a 50's revival, only thing missing is a guest vocal drop-in from Bowser and a sax player wearing shades  jumping up on a piano during the solo. The backing vocals throughout the album are cheesy and hacky. It's like every track needs some nod to what Brian used to do in the band he had with Mike, and in these cases not all the songs need cheesy backing vocals. IMO. Anyhoo...

If Mike thinks there is a market for records that sound like this, more power to him. I don't know how many fans even among the Hawaiian-shirted throngs of 60-somethings at his concerts who tailgate with filet mignons on the hibachi and tropical drinks with little umbrellas in them and probably think there are more Beach Boys besides Mike and Bruce on stage would be into buying an album like this.

Is there a market for this? Again it begs the question is Mike really doing this for the business/money aspects as has been claimed before or is he all about the fun, money be damned? I guess it's situational. It also begs the question if Mike's songwriting is supposed to be so highly regarded, where are Mike's originals?

The lone exception is "The Girl From Ipanema", where both the melody and the expected delivery of the vocal fits Mike's softer vocal range to a "T". The cheesy call-and-response backing vocals that plague the majority of the other tracks were wisely and thankfully left off this one so Mike singing the melody could actually be allowed to flow and breathe over Jobim's brilliant chords without some cliche "oooom-bop-bop" or "doo, doo wahh wahh" group vocal response after every phrase. It's a pretty enjoyable listen overall, very mellow and using Mike's "Meant For You" vocal range on an adult-sounding song versus singing about stuff teens in the early 60's would sing about or covering "Surfin" yet again for no discernible reason.

Fans who buy Mike and Bruce tickets will probably be getting a free copy of this one unless the business-savvy Mike keeps this one digital-only. Maybe they'll hand out free download coupons with every M&B ticket to boost sales numbers again?

Take a repeated listen to Ipanema, it's pretty good. The rest? File next to the NASCAR album.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 10:13:57 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2019, 10:46:49 AM »

I actually like the "new" funky rhythm of Surfin' Safari. The problem with it though, is that the chorus and verses are sung quite fast, as in the original arrangement of the song, and it's quite jarring.
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2019, 10:59:31 AM »

The only song I found interesting was Keepin the Summer Alive - I never liked the arrangement/performance of the Beach Boys' version and this version shows the song had greater potential than Carl was able to realize on the album - not that Mike's version fulfills all the song's potential either.  The rest seemed just more of the same we've come to expect from Mike.

Girl from Ipanema - not bad but goes on for way too long.

Here Comes the Sun - the slower pace of the song sucks out all the energy in the song.  Performance isn't horrible but pick up the pace!
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2019, 11:08:02 AM »



Craig's review nailed it home. Thanks, GF!!   w00t! w00t! w00t!
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2019, 03:28:23 PM »

It reminds me of those awful new bro-country songs you sometimes have the misfortune of hearing.
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Jim V.
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2019, 10:21:21 PM »

So I'm trying to give the album a listen, but I will admit there are so tracks I just can't make it through. But a few thoughts.

First off, I really don't mind "It's OK", "Surfin'" and "Surfin' Safari." They at the least bring something a bit different than the originals. I will also give props for Mike re-doing "Keeping' the Summer Alive" but I don't feel like it works. I don't know why Carl's version never made it big, but this definitely isn't an improvement. But also, can you really compete with a Carl Wilson vocal most of the time? No way.

I do feel as though "California Beach" is growing on me. Harmless fun. At first I had beef with the arrangement being changed, but now I kind agree with changing it from the original "Surfin' USA Part 48" thing it was going for to something different.

The covers? Not for me. I think the idea of Mike doing "Rockaway Beach" is contrived. And just as I would imagine people giving Brian sh*t for covering something and not knowing the original, I can imagine that Mike had no clue about "Rockaway Beach" until his wifeandmanager or Totten or his son or somebody said "hey the Ramones liked you guys and did a beach song."

Anyway, what else do we have then? "Summertime Blues"? I like the track but it's an unconvincing vocal and it's a song that's been done so many times you'd really have to find something new in it to make it alive. Mike also shoulda given the boss and senator vocals to somebody else, as it sounded weird with him answering himself. "On and On and On" is cool in a way as you can feel the link to "Do It Again" but I don't see myself going back to it much, if ever. I'm a huge ska, reggae and dub fan but "Over and Over and Over Again" bored me. It's also weird that he did a reggae arrangement of the song both on Looking Back with Love and now on this album as well. Now the arrangements themselves are a bit different, as are the vocal performances, as the LBWL version beats this one by miles.

One thing I found interesting about "Girl from Ipanema" was how clean and professional Mike's vocal was. I don't particularly like the version of this song that Mike did (sorry guitar fool), but his voice songs like the strongest it has since probably the recording of "Cool Head, Warm Heart" and the like. And then we notice the producer credit goes to Mike's longtime collaborator, Paul Fauerso. This leads me to believe that this was an early 2000s recording that was done around the same time as "Cool Head...", "Daybreak Over The Ocean" as it appears on TWGMTR (minus Brian, Al, Bruce and Jeff's contributions, as obviously those didn't come 'til 2011 or 2012), "Love Like In Fairytales" and the original "Pisces Brothers."

In closing, I just don't get why Mike is putting stuff like this out. I'd give it 2 to 2.5 stars out of 5 because I do derive a bit of enjoyment out of what he does. But I don't understand why he is still sitting on the re-recording of "Big Sur" while also apparently not allowing the release of original Beach Boys version on Made In California. Baffling. I also don't get why he is doing so many covers and self covers. And covers of covers he already did. We know he is the most prolific songwriter, but I have to imagine he has more in his bag than just "California Beach", right? I don't love "Anything for You", but I'd take that over a lot of this new album, and that still hasn't been re-released. Or if he's gonna re-record, why not "Almost Summer"? Or really, honestly while we are at it, get the Celebration stuff re-issued as some kind of anthology and also get Looking Back With Love back out there. It's no masterpiece, but surely it's better than a lot of this stuff. Maybe Mike can get the licensing right to re-release the stuff, or maybe he prefers to keep it away from the digital realm. Who knows?
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tpesky
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2019, 06:38:02 AM »

Mikes cover made me go back to listen to KTSA the single. That production is awful . I think if they did an arrangement like the live one they have a hit single . It rocks live and it’s so wimpy on the album . Bruce has said that’s how Carl wanted it , Bruce wanted more like the live one . Really too bad.
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Tony S
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2019, 06:47:04 AM »

I haven't bought the CD yet but I listened to some of the songs on YouTube. I must say I think the album is very weak and Mike's vocals are not good with the exception of the Girl from Ipanema. That sounds like Mike and his Kokomo era voice and he actually does a pretty good job on that one. But he sounds really bad on some of the others including keeping the summer alive which is horrible. Not my Cuppa tea
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wilsonart1
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2019, 07:59:48 AM »

Would of  been a silent eve in the backseat with this baby playin'.
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BeachBoysCovers
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2019, 09:21:24 AM »

California Beach: Nice enough. Generic Mike summer lyrics as expected, including a list of places.
It's OK feat. Hanson: The only good thing is that its got It's OK into the live setlist. The Christmas Hanson collab was better
Surfin': Bland. Still better than the Summer In Paradise version, right?
California Sun: Loving this
Surfin' Safari: Once you learn that this and Surfin' is - musically - entirely by producer's Sam Hollander & Josh Edmondson and their people - instead of anyone in the Beach Boys touring band - even the vocal arrangements by someone not in the band, then this starts to make more sense. In fact, the only involvement of BB band members in these two tracks (and the two other Hollander/Edmondson tracks) is Christian Love and John Cowsill on backing vocals.
On and On and On: I like this song, and this version.
Here Comes The Sun: "It's alright"
Girl From Ipanema: Long. Dull.
Over and Over and Over Again: Don't like the song, don't like this version.
Keepin' The Summer Alive: The track has more life to it than the KTSA version, but the vocals here are worse. Backing vocals need to be a bit more present.
Summertime Blues: I like this a lot
Rockaway Beach: I also like this a lot
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Juice Brohnston
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2019, 11:23:30 AM »

Quick question, If I can find an actual brick and mortar 'record store' are there physical copies of this release in CD format? Or is it just released in download format via iTunes etc?
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Matt H
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2019, 11:28:35 AM »

I bought the CD from amazon.
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2019, 11:53:40 AM »

Quick question, If I can find an actual brick and mortar 'record store' are there physical copies of this release in CD format? Or is it just released in download format via iTunes etc?

My local store had CD copies.
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2019, 10:34:17 AM »

I find it weird that on the CD they’re really diligent listing all the instrumental/technical credits but forget to mention any of the songwriting credits. I think this was the case for Reason For The Season too. Not claiming any sort of grand conspiracy or anything, just seems like a weird oversight.
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2019, 10:52:32 AM »

I find it weird that on the CD they’re really diligent listing all the instrumental/technical credits but forget to mention any of the songwriting credits. I think this was the case for Reason For The Season too. Not claiming any sort of grand conspiracy or anything, just seems like a weird oversight.

Made even more weird because of the obvious: One of Mike's main points which he repeated in interviews hundreds of times is how he got ripped off regarding songwriting credits, yet now as Mike is the one in charge of his career 100% (we've been told many times...), when given the chance to credit those who wrote or co-wrote songs he is trying to sell, Mike doesn't list those writers. Why? And yes, why be so diligent on crediting who played what while leaving off the writer credits?

Yeah, that is odd/weird if not hypocritical. But par for the course.
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2019, 08:15:48 AM »


Has this poor excuse for an album charted yet?? Wouldn't be surprised if it didn't.
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