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The Beach Boys -- The Warmth Of The Sun -- CD review

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The Beach Boys,

The Beach Boys, "The Warmth Of The Sun"

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The Bottom Line

As a compilation of great Beach Boys summer songs, this new disc is scattershot at best, although it does feature several relatively obscure tracks that fit the bill as well as the hits do. On the other hand, it's well chosen enough to work as a great Beach Boys mixtape -- and even a fine partial introduction to the group's struggling, post-Brian "sandbox" years.
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Pros

  • In its finest sections, this is indeed a great summer-themed Beach Boys mixtape.
  • The remastered sound is no small incentive for fans of Brian Wilson's production/vocal techniques.
  • Most of these 28 tracks are worth owning.

Cons

  • Vast sections of this lineup have nothing to do with summer, rendering the concept rather moot.
  • Warning: quite a lot of this material stems from the group's troubled "post-Brian" period.
  • The mix bounces between eras in a bumpy fashion.

Description

  • Release date: June 22, 2007
  • Capitol 44964
  • Compilation
  • Remaster
  • Studio
  • Single-disc

Guide Review - The Beach Boys -- The Warmth Of The Sun -- CD review

First things first: there's no "Kokomo" included on this, an ostensible Beach Boys compilation fit for summertime consumption. That'll please BB fans who think that late-Eighties #1 was the creative low point of their tumultuous career, but its absence, for once, points up the major flaw of a record instead of the other way around. After all, its roll call of summery ports of call may sound like a travel agent's poster set to music, but it's at least appropriate, whereas a dyed-in-the-wool classic like "Wendy," fantastic as it is, doesn't fit the theme.

"Wendy" is here on this latest Boys comp, along with a good smattering of resident genius Brian Wilson's odes to the season in question -- much of which still don't get the radio love they deserve ("All Summer Long," which serves as a perfect opener, for example, or the title track). But after the opening summer fun theme, the tracklisting takes a right turn into love songs, nostalgia, and other oddities. Moving through different Boys themes is a great idea for a box set, but for one disc, it's unnecessarily diffuse. Why not capture all of Brian's sun, surf, and hot rod classics on one CD. hits or not? Like the greatest hits Sounds Of Summer, Warmth is absent any real theme, seasonal or otherwise.

The good news is that these generous 28 tracks, selected by the other members of the band, actually provide a good overview of the band's troubled Brother Records years, and wisely focus on what small contributions their defected leader was still able to make. If you haven't heard "It's OK" or "Don't Go Near The Water" or "'Til I Die" or "Cool, Cool Water," you really haven't heard the whole Beach Boys story -- and the remastering job ensures that Brian's emblematic-of-an-era sound returns as fresh as tomorrow. Just don't go looking for the ultimate summer CD from the ultimate summer band.

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