This album leaves no doubt that the former Beach Boy is now fully recovered from the 1967 nervous breakdown that effectively stalled his career for decades.
“I cried a million tears/ I wasted a lot of years/ Life was so dead.” So croons the legendary Wilson on That Lucky Old Sun – an album that leaves no doubt that the former Beach Boy is now fully recovered from the 1967 nervous breakdown that effectively stalled his career for decades.
His troubled mental history is something he touches on several times in this series of Hollywood-esque tunes and spoken word reveries (elsewhere he sings, “At 25, I turned out the light/Cause I couldn’t handle the glare in my tired eyes”). The title-track is an old Louis Armstrong number from the 1940s, but otherwise everything was co-written with Scott Bennett and veteran collaborator Van Dyke Parks
Basically a studio recorded recreation of the concerts he performed at London’s Royal Festival Hall in September of last year, Wilson has described the album as consisting of “five ‘rounds’ with interspersed spoken word.”
The musical savant may have recovered but, as the Sawdoctors might say, his heart is living in the ‘60s still. Not only that, but he’s still writing about frolicking on Venice Beach (there’s actually a song of that name, and another called ‘Forever, She’ll Be My Surfer Girl’).
Wilson is rightly considered a musical genius, and there’s nothing here to contradict that categorisation. However, the rain currently drizzling outside this reviewer’s window makes this unabashed celebration of the Southern California lifestyle a little hard to warm to. Beach Boys fans will absolutely love it, though.
Key Track: 'Oxygen To The Brain'
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