DUST OFF THE VINYL: Classic band, classic album



The Beach Boys have often been portrayed in the media as a joke, a band that rode their wave and died doing what they loved, being corny. While this is certainly what band member Mike Love would want you to think, this wasn’t what happened. 

In 1966 Brian Wilson, main songwriter, and common vocalist wanted to move past this perception and gave us “Pet Sounds”, possibly one of the best albums of all time.

The album starts with the most popular Beach Boys song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, Acting as a statement of the theme of the album, growing up. This song is interesting in that back then, there were barely love songs about wanting to stay with someone, only the want to be with them at the moment. It is an interesting concept with gorgeous execution.

The album has an almost heavenly quality, its insane melodies and composition fall into place with gorgeous strings and production, The Beach Boys’ voices are in top shape here and it shows.

To talk about some important tracks would be talking about all of them but the ones that speak to me the most are “God Only Knows” and “Caroline, No” “God Only Knows” is another famous track but possibly one of the most poignant, this album is about exploring love and how it changes, the concept of love itself, and this track is the biggest example.

The song explores the ideas of what happens when a relationship ends, the love never fades but the sadness grows. The Instrumental and vocals provide an auditory way of feeling this concept. The coda of the song only furthers this concept with layered vocals and harmonies until fading out.

Now “Caroline, No” on the other hand, while being my favorite song of all time is also the best song on the album, it’s the final track and wraps everything up perfectly with its beautiful orchestration and somber lyrics. Detailing loss of attraction and love for someone from the perspective of someone seeing change. It is an incredibly sad track that only gets better with age.

The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds is widely acclaimed as one of the best albums of all time, rightfully so as it was way ahead of its time and still holds up today. The rest of the tracks I haven’t mentioned are phenomenal but I feel it is important to listen to them blind to experience the album as one unit. It is a beautiful piece of art and I hope any readers may listen.