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677288 Posts in 27331 Topics by 4045 Members - Latest Member: iggy October 01, 2022, 05:15:23 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (2019 Brent Wilson Documentary) on: November 28, 2021, 06:26:41 PM
And I have to say that I’m kind of ashamed of the occasional criticism of Brian’s vocals, or performance, or songwriting that occur when people review “Brian Wilson”.  He is 79 years old.  He will never again sound like he did when he was 22 or 33 or 60. He has trouble walking around. Brian won’t do another Pet Sounds, I’m fairly sure.  But, my lord, he has given me more joy in my life that any other artist, by far.

I get where you're coming from, for sure I do. And when it's an issue of range or tone I certainly am willing to cut Brian slack. And it goes without saying that the man is a titan, and a fraction of his back catalog would bestow him that status, and has given us so much and certainly owes us nothing. But at the same time, it goes back to "Cuckoo Clock" on Surfin' Safari -- the guy makes strange choices sometimes. Let me be clear though, I'm really just talking about Right Where I Belong, and that opening phrase with the terribly enunciated ending. What makes it so flagrant too is that he sings it relatively clearly ("that's what the music really is") later in the song.

I should add though that I'm in violent agreement with you overall -- it's beautiful to see Brian in his element and calling shots to make excellent music (I love the Honeycomb scene!!)
2  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Song Question on: November 23, 2021, 09:18:48 AM
Thanks, Aomdiddlywalla!!

While I love the majority of the track (and really think it is one of the better compositions/recordings of Brian's solo career), I do wish that Brian had done a couple more takes for that opening and re-occuring line "For me, the loves, that's what the music really is". The "is" (at least I think it is supposed to be "is"?) is completely warped and distorted (I think both vocally and via audio manipulation to the point you can't really tell what he is singing. Not trying to nitpick it, but for such an incredible song it seems like a vast oversight.

Outside of that, the production is perfect - the tone of that piano works so well against Brian's vocal, and I love the buildup.

Can't tell you how blessed we are as fans of The Beach Boys to get all these new songs, this new documentary, and who knows whats around the corner.

Agree completely. It's a great song and probably my favorite thing he's done in the last decade (including TWGMTR in that!) And he sings the rest of it pretty well; I'm fine with slurring, I get that comes with old age, but it's rough that the song starts on such a strange note. And Jim James' part is so well done too! I can't wait to hear the rest of the soundtrack, I hope it's full of remakes.
3  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: The 2020 mix of \ on: October 11, 2021, 04:25:23 PM
One of my favorites, and one of the more unique Brian-Mike collaborations. Who'd have thought they had a gondola song in them?

Definitely a standout of Feel Flows for me. The backing tracks on that set blow my mind more than anything else; Brian (and his trusty band of merry folks) could do any sort of popular music and arrange it in a way that somehow feels unique and indelible to the man himself in a totally non Pet Sounds (i.e. the "archetypical" way). That is, this doesn't have sleighbells, bass harmonica, yadda yadda yadda (all the stuff used in parodies and tributes) but it feels totally Brian. And like Joshilyn said upthread, you look at the actual composition of instruments here and it's just mind boggling. Truly a cool creation.

That said, yeah, I agree and sympathize with all the folks going WTF about this song on KTSA.
4  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Brian music this Friday ? on: September 17, 2021, 10:45:55 AM
The year is 1814 and, hypothetically, Beethoven is still performing, and puts on a note-for-note piano concert of his 7th symphony. Fans complain that he isn’t doing anything original. Meanwhile, hundreds of years later, most of us would think it would be an honor to hear such a performance from the composer himself…but this is 20/20 hindsight.

I think many people get so caught up in the current moment, so caught up in dreaming of what “could be” instead of being thankful for what actually is…I think most of us come around to the latter point of view when there is no longer a possibility of what “could be”. As in, one day Brian will pass on from this world, and we will absolutely be thankful for the music he left for us, even a handful of piano covers that he took the time to record.

From a technical standpoint, perhaps these covers won’t be as good as some random YouTuber’s covers. Maybe recording a bunch of hits isn’t the most creatively original idea. But perhaps there is more to these songs than being technically perfect, or being 100% original: When I listen to ‘In My Room’ I don’t just think “what a cool original song about a kid in his room” - I instead think about a young Brian himself trying to articulate his thoughts about his safe haven. Or when I listen to ‘Til I Die’ I’m not just thinking about a literal cork on the ocean, I’m thinking of a mentally ravaged Brian being so consumed with depression that he wrote such a tragically beautiful song.

My point being, there is a person behind all of this music. And that person has a crazy incredible story that is all wrapped up in the music he has put out…including an album of piano covers. So when I listen to this piano version of GOK I’m picturing Brian playing the keys on that piano, putting effort into recording one of the last albums he may ever release. And the feeling you get when you think that way is nothing you could feel listening to a random YouTube cover.

I mostly agree with you, but the Beethoven comparison falls flat because the 7th symphony is already instrumental. This is a reimagining away from the "plonk plonk plonk" in the right hand/melodic, moving bass in the left with Brian's vocals as the cherry on top. Not to say that that doesn't have value at all, but again, if you'd asked me "what would be your ideal Brian Wilson 2021 remake of old songs?", it'd be "just Brian, at the piano, doing his classic thing and singing his songs".
5  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Brian music this Friday ? on: September 17, 2021, 07:58:48 AM
Almost certainly Brian playing, likely with melody overdubbed (or perhaps done by Darian sitting alongside him at the piano?). He's done the two-piano thing before, back on the "Songs Without Words" release of "This Isn't Love."

(You can listen here:

This GOK is simple and a bit wonky technically, which points to the big man himself on the keys. I also suspect it was recorded at home, or close to.

Really exciting, and precisely what a lot of folks on this board have suggested for ages.

I think what people asked for was Brian playing *and singing*. I'm fine with it not being live/getting some studio polish but I want it to be recognizably Brian. If I know for sure that it's him playing on these recordings, that does make it somewhat more appealing, but I'd still rather get vocal versions. Has it been confirmed that the whole thing is instrumental like this?

Also, BTW, I don't get why people are dunking on that cover photo either. What a great picture. He's a happy old man... how far he has come.
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