gfxgfx
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
logo
 
gfx gfx
gfx
677671 Posts in 27357 Topics by 4046 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan November 30, 2022, 03:21:36 AM
*
gfx*HomeHelpSearchCalendarLoginRegistergfx
gfxgfx
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.       « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Official TLOS Album Reviews  (Read 14936 times)
Wirestone
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5985



View Profile
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:53:10 PM »

I'll go first, having heard the album through supernatural means.

Brian sounds like he's genuinely having fun.

The band is just a *tad* looser than previous studio outings, and it makes a difference.

Goin' Home kicks some tail.

I am sorry for anything I've ever said or implied about Scott Bennett. He is -- and this is a compliment -- like Joe Thomas with taste and talent. He knows how to get good performances and songs out of B-Dub. He has helped create perhaps the best *sound* for a solo BW record ever. It's out of time -- it has some burbling synths straight from Love You (really!), soaring backing vocals, skillful and sympathetic playing, and a dash of chamber orchestra. It reminds me a bit of Friends mixed with Sunflower -- but not stoned, if you know what I mean.

And Brian really brings his A game. He cares about this record -- or he sounds like he cares -- like he hasn't since "Imagination" (at least vocally) or BW88 (songwriting wise).

And the fact that Van Dyke and Scott and Darian all worked to help him out -- this album is special. It's not perfect -- and we'll be getting to those imperfections soon enough, I'm sure -- but it hangs together like nothing else since Love You, at least (BWPS not counted). If this is Brian's last, he should be proud.

As a final note -- there is one appearance of the "wall of Brians" on the record. But it's a charming one.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 06:08:06 PM by claymcc » Logged
Beach Bum
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 57


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 10:45:16 PM »

Agreed. I am more than happy. Going Home and Morning Beat Both kick tail. The album is solid, and much more than anyone could reasonably expect at this point. Listened to it front-to-back from 10 am this morning until 10 pm tonight. Never got tired of it.

This works. Some of his vocals are his best in years and he definitely sounds inspired. Nobody can take this away from him.
Logged

Let him run wild, he don't care
GoofyJeff
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 380



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 10:17:06 AM »

I was able to hear the vinyl last night thanks to a friend who came over.

I'll add more thoughts once I get my copy and can listen to it repeatedly, but here's some first impressions taken from notes I scribbled.

WOW... just wow.   Easily my favorite BW solo album (SMiLE not included).  Brian sounds amazing, the songs are great and in some instances downright killer.

The only moment I really missed the SSnH was on "Good Kind of Love" before the refrain.  I feel they could have added a certain... something... to that section.  I'm reminded of that Danny Hutton quote in "IJWMFTT" where he's describing Brian telling the guy's they're playing the notes, hitting them perfectly, but there's something missing.

I do miss Taylor's more soulful freestyling vocals on the tags of "California Role" and "Goin Home" though.  She is audible, but there was something about the live versions that reminded me of her tag on "Marcella" that I'm missing here.

The background vocals on "Midnight" during the "make me feel so alone" are missing the punch, urgency and intensity that the demo had.

I *LOVE* the fleshed-out version of "Southern California".     The line "Nodded off in the band room, woke up in history" really hit me for some reason.

Overall any little things I find that I *don't* like about the album are rooted in a familiarity of hearing the material in live and demo forms for almost a full year now, and this is a different interpretation of the songs, in most cases better.


Logged

"Because of the attitude of a few mental dinosaurs intent on exploiting our initial success, Brian's huge talent has never been fully appreciated in America and the potential of the group has been stifled.... If the Beatles had suffered this kind of misrepresentation, they would have never got past singing 'Please Please Me' and 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and leaping around in Beatle suits."
-Dennis Wilson, 1970
Wirestone
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5985



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 11:29:36 AM »

I was surprised that someone (at another board) suggested the songs were lacking depth.

There is certainly a freshness and ease to this material, but that doesn't mean (to me) that it's shallow at all.

I think that --

Good Kind of Love
Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl
Midnight's Another Day
Goin' Home
Southern California

-- Are all substantial and meaty tunes, with a lot going on. Love the melodic twists and turns of FSBMSG, and "Goin' Home" has two different choruses! There's real sense of adventurousness and sense of playfulness in these tunes.

No question, though, that the arrangements and Paul Mertens' orchestrations take it all to a different level. But that's the case for Pet Sounds, too.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 01:05:52 PM by claymcc » Logged
Aegir
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4680



View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 09:02:54 AM »

Can we keep this as the official album review thread? It's silly for 95% of the new posts on this board to be reviews and have them all be in different spots.

The first thing I noticed, especially in contrast to what everyone else is saying about the album, was that Brian's voice on the title track is really bad! Thankfully, the other tracks were a lot better, but geeze, that's not a way to start off an album. Like GoofyJeff, most of the things I don't like about the album are its differences with the demos and stuff. Going Home sounds a lot better, though. I agree with most of the others that the demo version of MAD was much more powerful. The narratives are useless, but I like the music underneath.

Can't Wait Too Long sounds exactly like the Beach Boys track. Conversely, what I like about this album overall is that it doesn't sound like a Beach Boys album with Brian singing lead on every track. It sounds like a Brian Wilson album. I think this is mainly because of the volume of the backing vocals. They sound like backing vocals, and not BB-esque "wall of harmony" vocals. While I prefer BB kind of vocals, they usually make me want to hear Carl or Mike singing.

I don't know what I would give this. Maybe a B.
Logged

Every time you spell Smile as SMiLE, an angel's wings are forcibly torn off its body.
Wrightfan
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1641



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 05:16:32 PM »

I've listened to the stream of the whole album. My thoughts:

That Lucky Old Sun-Love the musical arrangement much better then the demo version. Not the best Brian vocal.

Morning Beat-Slower then the demo version. Doesn't sound as rushed which is good. The middle eight is fantastic and I love the added strumming guitars and wood blocks. Easily my favorite part of the song. Great tempo changes.

Narrative-Room with a view-My least favorite track. Not a great reading from Brian.

Good Kind of Love-Probably one of the five best songs on the album. I think I kinda like the demo better though I love the string arrangement near the end (I'm a sucker for string arrangements in rock songs  Grin)

Forever my Surfer Girl-Much better then the demo. Love the added strings and I'm a big fan of the guitars, especially the one you can hear through the left channel during the second verse.

Narrative: Venice Beach-Better then the first narrative with a better reading from Brian. Still not the best narrative here (though the string ending is great.)

Live let Live-I really dig the slightly longer pauses in the intro (very Brian.) The "hearbeat" part may have been better in the demo but this recording overall is improved. Also, I love these lyrics better (I really REALLY hate the whole eco lyrics.) The ending was jaw dropping. That bassoon....left me speechless.

Mexican Girl-Much improved from the demo. Love the talking and extended clapping at the beginning.

Narrative: Cinco de Mayo-Decent. I love Brian's reading of "be A list!"

California Role/TLOS reprise-Meh. Of the songs, this is my least favorite. Love the vaudeville feel of it though.

Narrative: Between Pictures-Man, maybe one of the best tracks of the album. This starts one hell of a run music wise. Love the music behind Brian's reading. Is it me or does the piano remind anyone of the "fly awayyyyyyyy!" ending of "At my Window?" Amazing way to transition into...

Oxygen to the Brain-Love the subject matter, especially Brian's advice (never destroy when you can create.) Yet another song with a great middle eight. Also love the "there's a time to live", especially the background vox.

Can't Wait Too Long-Great remake. This is a very faithful reproduction of the Wild Honey/Friends era track.

Midnight's Another Day-What can I say that hasn't been said already? Easily Brian's best song in a very long time. Maybe some parts of the demo were better but I really don't care. The strings after "make me feel so alone" are great. I also love the addition of instruments to my favorite part ("doo doo doo doo doo!")

TLOS reprise-It's a reprise...don't know what else I can say. It makes for a good transition I guess.

Going Home-A great old time rocker. One of Brian's best vocal performances on the album and the "at 25" lyric is one of the best moments of the record. The synth is weird, I would've made it a harmonica like the taped show preview had.

Southern California-Wow! I HATED the demo version of this song but the finished version easily wins most improved. Like the bridge and the solo xylophone part is well done. Amazing closer!

Overall: I really want to give this song a 5 out of 5 but I play it safe. 4.5 out of 5  Grin
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 05:26:24 PM by Wrightfan » Logged
Ron
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5086


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 05:32:47 PM »

WRightfan, I pretty much agree with your assesment, but I'd add that in my opinon the demo of "Oxygen" was probably a little better.  It just sounded a little more manic and I thought that was the point of the song. 

I think they "polished" up Live Let Live very well.  I don't know if that's the same backing track from the movie version, though... it could be that the other version was like that.  Everything from the walk-in drums at the beginning to Brian's enunciation to the heartbeat chorus is just WOW.

Logged
Wirestone
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5985



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2008, 06:09:14 PM »

Pretty sure Live Let Live is an all-new recording. It's interesting that the soundtrack version was so very different -- I'm talking musically, too, not lyrically. I think the TLOS version wins in almost every department -- except it would be nice to hear the "Heartbeat" section again.
Logged
Aegir
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4680



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 07:45:48 PM »

The soundtrack version has a cool electric guitar part under the pre-chorus.
Logged

Every time you spell Smile as SMiLE, an angel's wings are forcibly torn off its body.
Ron
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5086


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 08:41:50 PM »

That's strange that he would re-record even the backing track if it's essentially the same song with different lyrics!  I only listened to the soundtrack version once, I thought the eco crap was so over the top.  You'd think he'd just scrub the vocals and re-record it with different lyrics, but I'm happy he didn't!  I really like it. 

Keep in mind, not to get too political, that the song is STILL about the environment and the beauty of nature, etc. but it's lost the preachiness and is a much more positive song, which I can get down with. 
Logged
knewthink
Smiley Smile Newbie

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4


View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2008, 07:55:39 AM »

I have listened to the album over ten times.  My first impression was similar to my first two listens through The "Love You" album.  It sounded oddly good in parts but Brian's voice sounded different as well.  Then it broke through and I truly believe as similarly people were down on "Love You" then realized it's genius so will go "Lucky Old Sun".  It is a song cycle meant to be heard as one song.  If people don't appreciate how really good it is they need to listen more and critique less. 

I just listened again, with headphones.

This is Brian Wilson saying to the world I'm back, this time it's for real.  He demonstrates everything and anything is still possible and I believe "That Lucky Old Sun" is a genuine step forward into his modular recording technique.  An honest  artistic statement from a man who has lived a life with more downs then ups. A statement that reinforces every life is worth living.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2008, 01:42:05 PM by knewthink » Logged
Jay
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5971



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2008, 09:20:46 PM »

This is the most cohesive and consistently good album in 20+ years. Not just the most cohesive Brian recording, I mean this is the single best album in decades. Everything from the music to the narratives is perfect. The music is beyond great. There are so many incredible sounds and melodies going on that it's almost to much to take.  Brian and his band put The Beach Boys to shame. This is BETTER than SMiLE. Yes, I DID just say that. Needless to say, this album gets 10 out of 10 stars from me. Brian can retire now, and be genuinely proud of himself. With this album, Brian has given us more than we could have ever hoped and dreamed of.
Logged

A son of anarchy surrounded by the hierarchy.
Beach Bum
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 57


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2008, 11:55:23 PM »

Love this thing....all of it. The criticisms I have heard so far are asinine. Brian sounds reborn.

Like he says, the best part of this trip just might be the ride. He still has fourth gear.

I consider myself lucky.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2008, 11:56:32 PM by Beach Bum » Logged

Let him run wild, he don't care
carl r
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 297


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 07:17:35 AM »

Does anyone else think that the reviews of TLOS in the media perhaps misinterpret some of the lyrics?
Having not heard the album enough I'm not sure I totally understand them either.
But the standard line seems to be "Wilson still thinks LA is a great place, blah blah" and then to focus on Midnight's Another Day.

Whereas I think many of the lyrics are saying how tough it is in LA, how harsh and unforgiving.
"GKOL" and "FSBMSG" are set as an idyllic 1960s counterpoint. Obviously very personal, but still with reference to the period.
California Role in particular hints at dark undertones, the desperation of people trying to make their mark in almost certain knowledge of failure.

Live Let Live expresses very hippyish sentiments an a charming way. It's an environmental song but more philosophical than protest. But of course the reference here is the fragility of it - and, if you like, the divinity of man within the eco-system. Whereas "Mexican Girl" has a subtext of "Love sees no colour," once again more than simply praising LA but also attempting to engage it with optimism. And we know BW does sometimes struggle to see things optimistically, and its his ability to do this which can elevate his music. California Role seems to flirt with cynicism and world-weariness - more like an old hand doling advice rather than a eulogy to the golden age of movies. But maybe I'm wrong on this.

Oxygen to the Brain has been covered but I think it refers a bit to Landy's treatment programme. I think Midnight's Another Day refers directly and indirectly to being institutionalised and out of it. Going Home I think is quite simply about love of making music and rock'n'roll. Southern California reflects on the ghosts surrounding his current life, dreams of past LA.

What I'm saying is, it's a bit more than simply "LA is great."
Logged
Jez Graham
Smiley Smile Newbie

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 9


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 07:20:05 AM »

Here's my take on TLOS.
 I have been listening to the stream on and off for several days and I have noticed that everywhere I go when I'm on the way to work and back I have had these cool melodies popping in and out of my head. Such an end of summer treat for the ears and the heart. The arrangements and the musical colors are presented in full Technicolor. I am drawn into the keyboard textures in the narrative pieces. I love them all but especially Between Pictures and Venice Beach. While I am loving the first half, the segment starting with California Role is where it really comes together for me. The feel on the part where Brian's lead vocal comes in on is sublime. It's a 2 feel that you might have heard in songs of the 20's and 30's with a little swing but not too much. By the end fade with a little dixieland jam that has some excellent clarinet work by Paul Mertens, we have been on a musical tour of styles from Hollywood's golden era of song and dance. I also love the combined lead vocals of Scott Bennett and Brian Wilson on this. The sequence from Oxygen To The Brain through Midnights Another Day is mesmerizing.A big fan Too Much Sugar and all the other Brian health songs, this one has such a fun feel and the music like the rest of the album is so natural and organic sounding. This one is ripe with all the things I love about Brian Wilson music. reminding me a fully realized version of some of the Adult Child era material.I'm loving the horn and vocal arrangements and most of all Brian's relaxed lead vocal. This one has it all, The 2 feel makes another appearance and I'm intrigued when E major becomes E minor and then back to E major for another verse. This is a great musical device that is similar to the one used in Cry and in songs by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin. I don't know what I can add about Midnight's Another Day except that I love it and will be studying it for years.
That last Lucky Old Sun reprise is the one that really gets to me because of this brilliant chord sequence- Ab/Db Bb/Gb Ab/Db Bb/Gb Ab/Db Bb/Gb Eb-7 Bb-7 Bmaj7 Ab-7 Db/Gb Db Gb Gb/B
Now we get to hear Brian sing a blues number which is a real treat. Now most artists don't sing blues in the key of Gb but leave it to Brian and company to bring us home in the culmination of this trip to L.A. In addition to being in Gb, what set's this apart from other blues songs is the rich jazzy harmonic brilliance of the segment with the words (At 25) just try to follow the piano part that accompanies the breathtaking vocals.The track for this song is full of fun for us all. I love the references to the unreleased Proud Mary sessions ,the rockin piano, the quirky Love you-ish gliss that shows up a couple times,the measure of 7 before Brian sings Homesick,the harmonica,vocals,the kitchen sink, it's all here and it's all perfect. Southern California is a beautiful song and great way to end the record. I am particularly moved by simplicity of the production of this song and the final crescendo leading to the last chord, the vibes add such a nice touch as do the loving background vocals.
Logged

Jez
TheLazenby
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 550


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2008, 08:54:02 AM »

Haven't heard the album yet (The Exchange had it yesterday, but I couldn't afford it), but I have to say...

This album seems to be getting glimmering feedback.  Between this and obviously BWPS, *now* will people admit that our Brian is alive and well again? :-)
Logged
brianc
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 444


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2008, 11:41:08 AM »

I was surprised that someone (at another board) suggested the songs were lacking depth.

I agree with that sentiment. Depth is the last thing I'd think when it comes to these songs (especially the lyrics).
Logged
Wirestone
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5985



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 04:28:04 PM »

Brian -- That actually sounds a bit backhanded. I doubt you meant it that way. Or (edit) ... I completely misread your post. (Shamefaced look away.)
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 05:38:34 PM by claymcc » Logged
brianc
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 444


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2008, 05:03:02 PM »

No, I meant it completely that way. I wasn't backhanded at all. It wasn't even a compliment. Lyrically, this album adds nothing to the canon of Los Angeles. If you bought a booklet of postcards on a first visit, you could have written these lyrics. I just got done listening to the Chavez Ravine album by Ry Cooder, and the lyrics to Brian's "Mexican Girl"... downright embarassing. Why would I want to sit around listening to that?

For a man that has spent his entire life here, he's got little to say that you couldn't go to the Chamber of Commerce and get after being here for ten minutes. Bleh.
Logged
Wirestone
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5985



View Profile
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2008, 06:00:40 PM »

Brian -- I'm sorry. I totally misread your first response. (I updated my post to reflect that.)

It seems to me that the album's lyrics work best when they are very simple -- "Good Kind of Love" (with all of the words written by BW) or self-consciously poetic (Live Let Live and MAD). The ones that aim toward the middle don't always quite hit.

But I'm not particularly drawn to BB/BW music for lyrical content. Too much disappointment waits down that road. My bias has always been toward sound. Brian could have made a career singing about golf, and I still would like it. (Assuming the up-tempo golf songs were tempered by heart-rending ballads like "My Little Golfing Girl."
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 06:01:34 PM by claymcc » Logged
Aegir
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4680



View Profile WWW
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2008, 06:15:26 PM »

I agree with Clay. If I cared about the lyrics I wouldn't like Brian or the Beach Boys anywhere near as much. I hate the summer, I hate surfing, I hate cars, I hate female hair loss!
Logged

Every time you spell Smile as SMiLE, an angel's wings are forcibly torn off its body.
the captain
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7255


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2008, 06:48:47 PM »

But there's a balance to everything. No, the lyrics aren't generally the most important thing in a Beach Boys record for me, but that doesn't mean I want them to be bad. And if they have to be bad, I prefer Brian's silliness and irreverence to banal summertime and story-of-Brian fare. This album, in my opinion, is pretty bad in that regard. But that said, it's in some ways my favorite of his solo albums. I love it.
Logged

Demon-Fighting Genius; Patronizing Twaddler; Argumentative, Sanctimonious Prick; Sensationalist Dullard; and Douche who (occasionally to rarely) puts songs here.

No interest in your assorted grudges and nonsense.
Jay
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5971



View Profile
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2008, 08:11:01 PM »

I happen to have the opinion that the lyrics throughout the TLOS album are among the best of Brian's solo career.
Logged

A son of anarchy surrounded by the hierarchy.
lance
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1018


View Profile WWW
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2008, 09:31:54 PM »

From what I've heard, I didnt think the lyrics sounded so bad, for the most part. I'll wait til I get the CD to listen more intently.
Logged
Aegir
Smiley Smile Associate
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4680



View Profile WWW
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2008, 10:40:04 PM »

Although, I must say, half the reason I like Smiley Smile, Love You, et cetera, is because of the stupid lyrics.

Speaking of stupid lyrics, though, I still haven't gotten used to the non-Arctic Tale lyrics to Live Let Live. I can't STAND them. I can't remember the lyric offhand, but that one about whale babies is so stupid. I don't care if the AT version is "preachy". The lyrics just sound so much cooler. I love "Polarization the talk of the nation" and "Are we the enemy living the memory" et cetera. The Arctic Tale version was one of my favorite songs of last summer, but the TLOS version is my least favorite song on the album. Even the music isn't as cool.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 12:44:26 AM by Aegir » Logged

Every time you spell Smile as SMiLE, an angel's wings are forcibly torn off its body.
gfx
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Go Up Print 
gfx
Jump to:  
gfx
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Page created in 0.719 seconds with 22 queries.
Helios Multi design by Bloc
gfx
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!