THE BEACH BOYS
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.