THE BEACH BOYS
WOULDN’T it be nice to live in the fantasy world of the Beach Boys? A place where you can cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible on the way to the beach with your girl (or guy) listening to your favourite tunes on the radio? The world may have changed since the band first covered that ground, but not in its musical fantasies. That’s Why God Made the Radio is the first collaboration between formerly estranged cousins Brian Wilson and Mike Love — along with Al Jardine, Bruce Johnstont andd DDavidid MMarksk — since 1996’s Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, and the band wisely sticks to what it does best, grooving along to the sunny nostalgia of the 1960s with mellow pop, sunny harmonies and classic themes about cars, the radio, spring break, the beach and summer.
The best moments are found at the beginning and end of the album — Pacific Coast Highway (the album’s highlight at a mere one-minute and 47 seconds), Summer’s Gone, Isn’t it Time and From There and Back Again — all focus on days gone by or trying to relive those moments while Beaches in Mind serves as the album’s Kokomo.
And if you don’t believe the 50th anniversary reunion is nothing but a money grab, check out the lyrics to Spring Vacation: “Spring vacation/Good vibrations/Summer weather/We’re back together/ Easy money/Ain’t life funny/Hey what’s it to ya/ Hallelujah.”
There are no overt snappy standout singles like Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann or California Girls, but for fans of the latter Beach Boys albums as a whole as opposed to the early pop singles, they might want to hit the surf with the Beach Boys again.