That’s Why God Made The Radio, The Beach Boys, Capitol, R395
A new Beach Boys record (warts and all) is always a cause for celebration. The icing on the cake is the fact that this is their first album in 20 years. The title track contains the Beach Boys’ gorgeous trademark harmonies. Though it isn’t as memorable as “God Only Knows”, it is the closest that the Boys have come to their crowning 1965-’66 era in decades. The band having been together for 50 years, it’s not surprising that there is a lot of reminiscing that goes on in the album. This nostalgia is sunny and upbeat on tracks like “Isn’t it Time” and “Spring Vacation”. Along the way, the band also slips in “The Private Life of Bill and Sue”, an odd track about a TV show couple, and “Daybreak Over the Ocean”, which was written way back in 1978. Ruminating about the passing of time and departed friends and family, the album closes on a wistful note with the superb three-song suite comprising “From There to Back Again”, “Pacific Coast Highway” and “Summer’s Gone”. The last track ends with the sound of softly crashing waves in the sea. It’ll be a fitting elegy if this album turns out to be the last for a band that was once synonymous with the sun, sea and the sand.
By Kim Taylor Bennett on July 20 2012 7.06am