UNCUT - - Archive - TOM PIN­NOCK

The Beach Boys With The Royal Phil­har­monic UNI­VER­SAL 6/10 Brian and co get the or­ches­tral treat­ment

no mat­ter your skill with a brush, it wouldn’t be ad­vis­able to, say, touch up a Ti­tian. And so it might be with Brian Wil­son’s finest work: were his metic­u­lously crafted teenage sym­phonies to god re­ally lack­ing the sweet touch of the RPO? Well, clearly not, but this com­bi­na­tion of the Beach Boys’ orig­i­nal record­ings and an or­ches­tra does hold in­ter­est for the fan. Wil­son is the per­fect artist for this treat­ment, be­ing heav­ily in­flu­enced by clas­si­cal mu­sic and more re­cent or­ches­tral forms – it’s fit­ting, then, that the open­ing, taste­fully done “Cal­i­for­nia suite” be­gins with a nod to gersh­win’s “Rhap­sody In Blue”. else­where, there are, com­fort­ingly, plenty of bass har­mon­i­cas, clip-clop­ping per­cus­sion and stac­cato or­gans – some orig­i­nal, some seem­ingly new. There are some charm­ing mini-over­tures, and reimag­in­ings of “Dis­ney girls” and “The Warmth of The sun” with sweep­ing strings. The few faster songs fall flat, how­ever, with the or­ches­tra pair­ing un­pleas­antly with “Fun Fun Fun”’s Chuck Berry licks; “good Vi­bra­tions”, too, is a lit­tle syrupy, the strings adding busy coun­ter­melodies that fail to re­fine it. For the most part, though, the RPO know when to hold off, so they stay in the back­ground on “god only Knows”, per­fec­tion it­self not be­ing im­prov­able. Ex­tras: none.

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