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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 229 - 05/04/15

Brian Wilson
No Pier Pressure
Capitol Records

I much prefer the songs and music of Brian Wilson when he is at his saddest and most vulnerable. Despite a song here called "I'm Feeling Sad" he seem quite satisfied, even though matters were better before. The album documents a nostalgic soon 73 years old pop genius, who misses his deceased younger brothers Dennis and Carl and the good old days. Though one might wonder if they ever were good when it comes to Brian... No Pier Pressure is more interesting than our man's two previous solo projects, his homages to George Gershwin (Reimagines Gershwin, 2010) and Disney film music (In The Key Of Disney, 2011), although at least they reveal the unique arranger and producer Brian Wilson occasionally. And I much prefer it to The Beach Boys' reunion album (That's Why God Made The Radio, 2012) that I hardly managed to listen to once. Most of the songs, no matter if it's the Deluxe version of No Pier Pressure (with 16 songs in all) or the ordinary version (13 songs), are too happy, slickly and/or softly arranged with strings and brass for my liking. Soft to the core the Californian way. It doesn't matter if former Beach Boys-companions Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin or other younger celebrities like Sebu Simonian, Mark Isham, Peter Hollens and Kacey Musgraves participate. But the soft and sad "This Beautiful Day", "What Ever Happened" and "Somewhere Quiet" could've made a good EP. The latter is only included on the Deluxe version. A pity, it's the best of the lot. The melody stems from the beautiful instrumental "Summer Means New Love" from the Beach Boys album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) from 1965 with lyrics written nearly 50 years later. At the end of both album versions Brian brings us "The Last Song". If this really turns out to be the last new song from the Brian Wilson cannon - he mentioned something about retirement recently - he would've quit the music business with his honor unblemished. Although a bit over-produced it's a gem and alone a good reason to check out the album:

Don't be sad, There was a time and place for what we had, If there was just another chance for me to sing to you ...

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You may also want to check out our Brian Wilson articles/reviews: I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, SMiLE, Smile, That Lucky Old Sun, That Lucky Old Sun.

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