Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Brian Wilson, "That Lucky Old Sun" (Capitol) [1 STAR]

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When it comes to the great Romantic narratives of rock history, few are more enduring--or consistently untrue--than "Brian is back." Every few years, ever since Beach Boys auteur Brian Wilson first fled the spotlight amid a haze of drug and mental problems after the undeniable peak of "Pet Sounds" (1966), one group of allegedly well-intentioned friends and musical collaborators after another has come forward to herald the return of the genius, from the vile Mike Love (who actually wrote a song called "Brian's Back" for a failed comeback in the late '70s) to the controversial psychologist Eugene Landy (who managed Wilson and co-wrote his songs during the failed comeback in the late '80s) to his current coattail rider, Hollywood hack Scott Bennett.

"At 25, I turned out the light/'Cause I couldn't handle the glare in my tired eyes/But now I'm back/Drawing shades of kind blue skies," the 66-year-old Wilson sings in "Goin' Home," but there's no more reason to believe him than anyone else. The retro-harmony-laden tune is one of the few actual songs amid the sappy, soggy and predominantly dreadful pastiche of unfinished snippets, recycled riffs and spoken-word Beat-poetic interludes on the new 38-minute, 17-track conceptual song cycle "That Lucky Old Sun," the singer and songwriter's first full album of new songs since 2004--that is, if you count that year's over-hyped and undercooked attempt to remake and complete the legendary aborted "Smile" album.

Vastly overrated orchestral arranger and wearyingly eccentric lyricist Van Dyke Parks came back for that project, and he makes an appearance here, too. Yet while he is certainly the culprit behind the awful poetry, Bennett is the man who should be derided for much of the rest of this mess: An adept student of the best of Wilson's catalog circa '61 to '67, he crams in countless musical references to and lifts from that era and the influences that led to it, coupled with clich├ęd lyrics paying homage to a Los Angeles that never really existed (one where every girl is "the next Marilyn, every guy, Errol Flynn") and maudlin, exploitative nods to a not entirely accurate version of Wilson's tragic lost years and mental meltdown ("I wasted a lot of years," the singer confesses in "Oxygen to the Brain," while in "Midnight's Another Day," he tells us, "All these voices, all these memories/Make me feel like stone/All these people, they make me feel so alone/Lost in the dark, no shades of grey/Until I found midnight's another day").

Of course, in blaming Bennett, I'm letting Wilson himself slide. As anyone who's interviewed him in the last decade can attest, while seemingly in better mental health than he was in the '80s, he's still not completely in touch with reality--still not really back from whatever awful trip derailed his career. Nor is his voice, when it can be heard amid the bloated production and army of shadowy backing vocalists, anything but a shadow of its former instrument. But if his degree of involvement in this catastrophe is really as full-fledged as his press materials would have us believe, the only conclusion left is that one of the greatest songwriters of his generation can no longer tell trash from triumph--either that, or he's every bit as willing as the parasites around him to milk the legacy of the past for every dollar it will yield while stumbling through a present consisting of unforgivable crap such as "Mexican Girl," "California Role" and "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl."

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42 Comments

Jimmy,correct me if I am wrong, but I didn't you used to be a fan of Brian's at some point in the past? If I recall correctly, I think you went negative for Brian's Imagination CD 10 years ago and haven't looked back. Something I don't understand is why does a respected newspaper like the Sun-Times continue to allow someone who clearly doesn't like an artist to repeatedly review his music, when there is no way you can ever give a fair unbiased review?

I find it ironic that some of the very lyrics that you dismiss are the same ones that have been praised in other more positive reviews.That Lucky Old Sun isn't the greatest album ever recorded, but it is far from the worst and worthy of more than a one star rating.Maybe it's time to just sit back , listen and try to enjoy it instead of always tearing things down and trashing them.

Sincerely,
JohnB

Wow...did Brian Wilson run over your dog or something??? And did Scott Bennett give him driving directions to your dog???

WORST REVIEW EVER

What a nasty review. Time for a holiday Mr.DeRogatison.

Your disdain for Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks is a remarkable thing to witness. Anyone doubting Van Dyke Parks' ability as an arranger might talk to the endless number of musicians who have invited his participation in their work. (Most recently, Inara George on her beautiful album "An Invitation.")

It wasn't an attempt to complete Smile. It was Smile, as BW and VDP and company finally put it together. You might not like it, but it's the real thing, done.

A bitter, clumsy rant posing as a legitimate review. Even if you did not see worth in the album, there is no doubt that an artist such as Brian Wilson has at least earned some measure of thoughtfulness, which was void in your approach. Being aware if this is how a mature, professional can write critically while making their point with class, hacks do otherwise.

Very unjustified and biased review. I'd be curious to see what passes for redeeming music in your opinion? Boy, you must be a Mike Love fan! Are you one of the 3 dozen people who own a copy of his solo album, "Looking Back with Love"? I hope a relevant newspaper as the Sun-Times will recognize that you review is out of touch with the countless 3, 4, and 5 star ratings that have been given to Brian's "That Lucky Old Sun." With that said, Brian would probably wish you "Love & Mercy" Unfortunately, I'm not that kind.

Okay, it all makes sense now. You gave Miley Cyrus 3 out of 4 stars!

Jim, I'm wondering if you reviewed someone else's album. I for one actually enoy it and prior to the release I thought Park's narravtives would be sappy. I actually enjoy them.

No its not the best album he has been involved in but certainly his personal best. What other song-writer at age 66 could produce such masterful emotions in his songs?

Jim, let me begin by saying you're right that this album sucks hard (sorry, Wilsonites). Actually, I'm about as down on Wilson as you are. While Wilson-philes adore this band, I think that, with the exception of Probyn Gregory, they're absolute crap, a pale imitation of neo-psych-pop bands like the Polyphonic Spree or the Arcade Fire or I'm From Barcelona.

The bigger problem, however, is that Brian has lost his ability to produce. His one functioning ear has given up, or else has been modified for the new millennium. Maybe there's a kernel of truth there, 'cause everything Wilson has released since parting with Landy has sounded as if channeled through Oxycontin rather than acid (not that the Landy stuff was any better, of course).

It's also lacking personality. Say what you will about the Beach Boys' '70s records -- a good deal of them had personality (listen again to Love You if you don't believe me). And even the ones that didn't (hello L.A., one of my favorite guilty pleasures) still had the effervescent voice of Carl and the beautifully tragic demise of Dennis, two extraordinary talents who don't get nearly enough credit nowadays (though people are starting to come around on Dennis since the re-release of Pacific Ocean Blue).

This is just another token Brian Wilson release meant to impress people who don't know any better. Wilson fans: c'mon! You know what greatness sounds like! And it ain't this!!

This doesn't sound like a review. It sounds like a vendetta against Wilson and LOCAL guy (Hollywood Hack?) Scott Bennett. As for calling anything Wilson does retro, he invented this stuff. It's like accusing John Fogerty of plagiarizing himself. I won't call the album genius, but it certainly has moments of it. That's something I have never said about a Derogotis review. In fact, this review would have been accurate if it had been about your entire career.

Hey Jim,

On behalf of all Brian Wilson fans everywhere, I want to say how sorry we are that you were assigned to review That Lucky Old Sun. Staff cuts must have prevented you from delegating this to someone else. What a horrible experience it must have been for you to listen over and over again to each of the songs so you could really listen and learn each one before passing judgment.

And it must have hurt deeply to reveal how poorly written, produced and performed this new music truly is, especially when so many other music critics are so far off base.

How can we make it up to you? Maybe when the Sun-Times editors realize how cutting (pun intended) edge you are, they'll give you a raise.

Surf's up! (some just can't hear it...)

Phil

Your review is just shock for the sake of shock. I agree that, for eons, Brian's projects were utter trash. "Imagination" did to pop music what you consistently do to rock journalism. I don't know where you get the idea that the press coddled him on that release. It was gonged, as far as I recall. However, the remake of Smile was amazing and universally seen as such. What Bennett and the Wondermints did to resurrect that erratic masterpiece (any album with Surf's Up and Heroes and Villains is worth it) was nothing short of amazing. I worked with Paul Simon for a leg of the tour when Brian was opening for him several years ago and that backing band was one of the best we'd ever seen. If you don't realize that, I have no idea what you're doing writing about music. I have only heard a few cuts off the new album, but Midnight is Another Day is certainly Brian's best song I've heard since his prime. But enough is enough. I think you write with the purpose of getting a reaction, when you should be offering an objective, if not skilled, view of the work. A cow taking on sacred cows is really not much of a public service, especially when done so poorly and transparently. Maybe it's time to finally mail those DeVry applications you've been filling out these past fifteen years.

My comments on this review are:

(a) What has Jim DeRogatis accomplished in his life?
(b) What has Brian Wilson accomplished in his life?
(c) What talent does Jim DeRogatis have?
(d) What talent does Brian Wilson have?
(e) What adversities has Brian Wilson overcome in his life to reach where he is now?

Join the dots.
Give the man a break.


>>However, the remake of Smile was amazing and universally seen as such. What Bennett and the Wondermints did to resurrect that erratic masterpiece (any album with Surf's Up and Heroes and Villains is worth it) was nothing short of amazing.

Fernando, dude... Sorry, but I'm not there with you. I am an enormous Brian Wilson mark. I love what the guy did in the '60s, and I think he's unfairly maligned (especially by DeRo) for the stuff he did in the '70s. Hell, I even think his goofy early-'90s stuff has some value (ever heard "Smart Girls," wherein he raps over samples of Beach Boys hits? It's just god-awful fun. Like watching Con Air). But Brian Wilson Presents Smile was, in my opinion, just awful.

I think Bruce Johnston put it best in The Pet Sounds Sessions making-of book: "Sometimes, there are two definitions of perfect. There is 'perfect' and what feels right. And that's the real perfect... that's what Brian did.... It has to have some wonderful flaw that you can find with a high-powered microscope. That gives it a humanity that it wouldn't have otherwise."

I don't think the "completed" version of Smile was "nothing short of amazing." I think it was an attempt for Brian to combat his demons. For the sake of his mental health, that thrills me. But as music, it's just okay. Now, had Smile been completed and released in '67, it would've been revolutionary, outstanding, etc., etc. But it wasn't. And the one that came out a few years ago is not the record that would've been; it's the record that is, four decades later. And all the sounds are perfect. If that's what you like, great, but I prefer the old recordings and bootlegs.

I highly suggest that everyone look for as many boots of Smile as you can. It'll give you a small insight into what Brian was doing in '67. It's druggy, unsanitized, and really, really weird. I'm not entirely sure all of it is any good. But the sheer brilliance of much of it makes it worth listening to over and over, trying to figure out how he could've made it work. But when I listen to the '04 version of "Vega-Tables," I feel like it's become a song worthy of Barney the Dinosaur or some other equally awful kids' show. It lacks the personality Bruce was describing. That is, sadly, something that's been lacking from everything Brian has done since his post-Landy recovery began.

Jim,
No matter how hard you try, you will never be Lester Bangs.

It seems like you trash new albums by 60's "survivors" more out of sport and personal grudges than anything else. How else can one explain your continued personal attacks on Van Dyke Parks who I believe in your review of SMILE, you refered to as a "twerp".
Where is the constructive criticism in that?

Ben

PS
Sgt. Pepper is pretty boss too :)

Hi Jim;

I usually agree with your reviews. Sorry, I don't agree with this one. I like this album alot. I think some of the songs are really beautiful, and it made me feel alot of different emotions listening to it.

Oh well. Keep up the good work.

D

http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/wilsonbrian/smile?q=smile

I think you're right that the lesser songs on the disk did not hold up well, without the compensation that he was nuts when he wrote them. I'm talking about VegeTABLES and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow and such.

But the new versions of the true masterpieces, like Surf's Up and Cabinessence, really hold up, which is a monstrous accomplishment. I mean, I can't believe how good Surf's Up is without Carl.

Remember, Smile never was completed. It needed some brushstrokes. Fortunately, for Brian, he fell in with people who were able to fill in the empty spaces. They understand the music unlike Jim, who probably doesn't understand how a zipper works...not that they make zippers that big.

Don't you wonder sometimes if people's own personal demons prevent them from acknowledging when someone has overcome theirs?

Brian Wilson has earned the right to use music as his therapy. And guess what, a lot of people enjoy his therapy.

Maybe you should look at your personal demons and ask yourself, "Why do I continue to act like an 8-year old bully? Why do I get off on beating people up with my pen? Might be time to grow up. Midnights another day.

Gotta say, Fernando, of all the tracks on Brian Wilson Presents Smile, I like "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" the best. I mean, despite the fact that Jim Hines is no Hal Blaine, nor is Bob Lizik near Carol Kaye, the recycling of the harmonies from "Fall Breaks and Back to Winter (W. Woodpecker Symphony)" off Smiley Smile, which has always made me think of "Fire" as a candle rather than an inferno (remember, Brian mentioned in early '67 that he wanted to change "Fire" to be "like a candle" after the fire down the block from the studio), really changed the song around for me, made me think of it as something to be feared. I loved it. Plus, it was the weirdest track on what was supposed to be an album full of weird tracks.

I know Smile was never completed. I maintain that it hasn't been. Oh certainly, "Smile '04" is a version of Smile, but I don't think it is what it could have been in '67. I mean, are we really to presume that Van Dyke would've written lyrics for "Holidays" (aka "On a Holiday")?

That said, there are a couple of things I do like from "Smile '04," including the addition of the original lyrics to "Do You Like Worms." But Brian really should have kept "Do You Like Worms" as the title instead of changing it to the incompetently stupid "Roll Plymouth Rock." Sort of like how he should've kept "Hang On To Your Ego" rather than "I Know There's an Answer." Ahh, but these are personal preferences...

I don't know who you are, Jim DeRogatison, but all I can say is are you qualified to review this album by Brian Wilson. If you make any money doing this, I assume you're broke, since you don't know what you are talking about. I cannot believe you actually listen to this CD more than once, if you did that. I feel sorry for you, or anyone else, that feel this CD isn't one of his best works in that last decade.

Jim, chill out!
Get in your vw camper, head to the ocean and play this cd loud.
Get over it, this album is lovely

Wow. This is what passes for music journalism in Chicago? In addition to Brian Wilson and Mike Love, you also managed to trash everyone in Brian's current band except Probyn Gregory. Different strokes for different folks regarding music, of course, but why the nastiness on such a personal level? The only thing that anyone could really glean from this "review" is that its author is a jerk.

Is Derogatis a psychiatrist? What gives him the right to say that Brian is still not completely in touch with reality? Dero then incorrectly implies that Van Dyke Parks did the orchestral arrangements on this album. Paul Mertens did. And what does he know about poetry that qualifies him to call Parks's poetry awful? He then made a cynical comment questioning to what extent Brian was really involved. Had he watched the DVD, he would have had his answer. He was not in the Capitol studios during the recording sessions and he was not with Brian at Scott Bennett's house during the Brainstorming sessions.

This reviewer appears to have some kind of ax to grind, and in my humble opinion, this review bears little semblance of professionalism regardless of what he thinks of TLOS. In reviewing his review, I give him a 0 out of 5.

Wow, I can't believe they actually printed this review. It's not constructive, it's not insightful, it's not clever, it's just bitter.

So for those of you on the fence on whether to buy The Lucky Old Sun, here's the bottom line. If you're a fan, this album will make you smile, laugh, maybe even cry with it's beauty and naive sincerity. No one does this sort of stuff. I don't know if it's artistic bravery or just Brian being Brian (he did, remember, do Mt. Vernon and Fairway on the Holland album that pretty much stumped everyone), but when was the last time you listened to an album from start to finish that baffled at first, then grew on you until you found yourself humming the songs in your sleep? And it gets better with each listen, quirky yet catchy.

Right, this isn't as consistently solid as Pet Sounds, but that's like criticizing Paul McCartney for not writing songs as catchy as I Want To Hold Your Hand or Hey Jude anymore. Will it go down in history as an essential album? Who knows? And who cares? Why not just sit back and enjoy it - no one does Brian as well as Brian, and The Lucky Old Sun is Brian all the way.

I give this review one finger up! Jim DeRogatison, You are the hack here.

congrats on accruing such flak.
your jacket must be well pockmarked.

beware
- a view from a cloud choked viewpoint
is less than pointless,
in case you weren't aware.
and this is a case in point.

deroger,
over and over
and out.

cheers
from sunny brighton uk
paul

I just unsubscribed to your podcast. I may resubscribe someday, probably tomorrow. But this review just feels contrived. To give a record that just sounds good, like this one does, one star, you seem to be more concerned about making some point about Brian's legacy that to really review the record. To my ears, this record is 3 1/2 stars out of 5. Mexican girl doesn't work, but I think many of the songs do. You didn't feel any of the fun in Oxygen to the brain? Midnights Another Day does affect me, as do several of the others. I always found Brian's band to be a little too technical and not quite loose enough. But I find little truth to the language you use about Scott Bennett, and I also think it is mean spirited. I also think it is unfair to classify Bennett and the rest of the guys in Brian's band as coattail riders. They always seemed focused on preserving Brian's legacy and bringing out the best in him, something that is not easy to do. They are many examples of coattile riders throughout Brian's career, but I don't see it here.

Jim, I normally respect you as a critic but this review is garbage. If you don't like it that's fine but the personal attacks on Wilson are horrible. I am a Wilson fan, but I don't like everything. I did not like Getting In Over My Head. But this is a fine album. You give this one star but you give manufactured Disney Miley Cyrus a great review. Your collegue Greg Kot did not like it, but atleast he gave a well rounded review that avoided personal attacks. Sometimes Jim, you sound like you love hearing your own voice. Your review also sounds like you had this pre determined. And you also need to stop calling his 2004 SMILE a remake. IT WAS NEVER COMPLETED. And lyrics were not written for quiet a few of the songs. I will still read you Jim. But your 2004 reviews of Brian and this one shows your maturity level. This reminds me of the hateful attacks the GOP had at their convention.

Okay, Brian, you make a few good points (the Miley Cyrus review was a little too gushing, methinks), but I disagree with a couple of points concerning Smile (I'm a bit of a buff on the recordings).

1) >>And you also need to stop calling his 2004 SMILE a remake. IT WAS NEVER COMPLETED.

I honestly think calling "Smile '04" a remake is fair: It is a remake of an album that was never completed. If we're to consider Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE the definitive version of the lost classic, I feel that undercuts the hours upon hours upon hours Brian, the Boys, and the Wrecking Crew sat in studios between 1966 and 1967.

Besides that, though the album itself was unreleased, almost everything that is included on "Smile '04" is available on the numerous bootlegs of the "Smile '67" sessions. "Vega-Tables" was done. "Heroes and Villains" had every part on "Smile '04" already available; Brian simply hadn't made a cut like that one (but it's very easy to do with the bootlegs and modern technology, and it sounds a hell of a lot better). Only the tag to "In Blue Hawaii" and the strings in "Child is Father of the Man" and "Surf's Up" can truly be considered "new" as far as music goes. Ah, but then there's those pesky lyrics, right?

2) >>And lyrics were not written for quiet a few of the songs.

It's not clear whether or not many of those unwritten lyrics were planned to exist in the first place. "Holidays" (which became "On a Holiday") certainly sounds great with the new lyrics by Parks, but the "Rock rock roll / Plymouth rock roll over" section was a brand new invention building on the original lyric sheet for "Do You Like Worms" (now "Roll Plymouth Rock"). The tag added to "On a Holiday" is actually the same as the tag from "Wind Chimes" as released on Smiley Smile, whose sessions were extensions of, but not really related to, the Smile sessions. "In Blue Hawaii" has brand new lyrics, and it seems likely that the "water" part of the Elemental Suite would've needed lyrics (and it sounds a hell of a lot better than the plodding instrumental of "I Love to Say Da Da"). But we can't be sure, because, aside from "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" (which is very obviously meant as an instrumental), we don't know what Brian had planned for the Elemental Suite (many theorized, before the '04 incarnation, that the suite was supposed to be all instrumental).

Then there's "Look," now known as "Song for Children." This is a very interesting one, because when I first started compiling Smile boots, I assumed it was meant to be the "Earth" section of the Elemental Suite. However, around 2002, I started to hear something I hadn't noticed before, a similarity to "Child is Father of the Man," while the beginning echoed "Wonderful." I adjusted my mixes thusly, adding "Vega-Tables" to the Elements. Looking back on it, the lyrics added bring the whole "childhood/innocence" suite together quite nicely; that's my favorite part of the whole '04 album. But I honestly don't know whether or not that's how Brian envisioned it in '67. That was always part of the fun of making fan mixes of Smile: We could never be certain we were right, but we could never be proven wrong. I still think that holds; that's why I consider "Smile '04" simply one more version, no better nor worse than anything anyone else comes up with.

3) >>This reminds me of the hateful attacks the GOP had at their convention.

DUDE. Let's not say things we can't take back! I mean, there might be elements of this you find mean-spirited (though I'd obviously disagree)... but comparing Jim to a Republican? Well, at least that's a way to get him mad... haha

Dear Critic:

Why don't you get off Brian's coattails? You are a bottom-feeder with no ability to judge music. Your biased opinion (yes, opinion, not review) makes me wish you would write and produce an album for us to cherish.

TLOS is a beautifully written, well produced labor of love for Brian and the band. Scott Bennett is one of the most talented in the business. Jeff, Probyn, Nelson, Nicky, Darian, Taylor, Paul are equally as impressive.

You, on the other hand, suck - perhaps you may have something in common with Brian - he was born deaf in his right ear - maybe you are too (as well as your left.)

I stumbled upon this review and actually feel dumber for having read it (about as dumb as the overly critical newspaper employee who wrote with such ignorance and negativity.)

TLOS: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS.

Jim You really need to get a grip. Try another profession. Find religion. Your review of Wilson's CD is a joke beyond belief. Go get fired for God's sake.

As a newspaper editor and journalist of 40 years standing - and a Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fan for more years than I care to remember - I have one piece of advice for you: Go back to journalism school and learn your craft. You didn't review this album, you wrote to get a response - and judging by the comments above you got it. I also have to ask which editor passed this copy for page approval, this is not some backwater rag but a newspaper I thought had a fine reputation. I've reviewed hundreds of albums, books and films in my time but never stooped to the lazy 'This is just crap' style of writing. Words are meant to enlighten and inform, you fell sadly short. And if you think this is from some over-zealous Brian Wilson fan you'd be wrong, That Lucky Old Sun is a good album, not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination (pardon the pun). It has several strong tracks, a few weak ones and only really falls down on the narratives, which I felt needed more work on them to really grab your attention. Brian Wilson has left America with a rich legacy of music, he deserves a little more respect in his home country than you gave him. I interviewed him a year ago for my newspaper, the Metro in the UK, and found him to be charming, funny and in tune with what was happening around him. Go back and listen to this album again, then write a real review not just a four-letter one...

Some of you people need to stop referring to music criticism as journalism. Regardless of whether you agree with DeRo's take on the record, it's his opinion. It's not journalism.

Okay, it all makes sense now. You gave Miley Cyrus 3 out of 4 stars!

-----

Ah, Jim, the guy who wrote this makes a good point.

You continually give good reviews to lightweight pap like Miley Cyrus or Fallout Boy and defend yourself by saying "It's not supposed to be heavy," yet you attack established artists like U2, The Stooges and Brian Wilson for putting out the same type of material.

Either lightweight is OK or it's not, but you can't grade on a curve based on previous work.

Okay, it all makes sense now. You gave Miley Cyrus 3 out of 4 stars!

-----

Ah, Jim, the guy who wrote this makes a good point.

You continually give good reviews to lightweight pap like Miley Cyrus or Fallout Boy and defend yourself by saying "It's not supposed to be heavy," yet you attack established artists like U2, The Stooges and Brian Wilson for putting out the same type of material.

Either lightweight is OK or it's not, but you can't grade on a curve based on previous work.

Thank you, Jim, for saying what I was thinking. I've always subscribed to a historical/personal response school of criticism; that is, I view a release (book, album, painting, whatever) in both its historical context and what it does for me. That Lucky Old Sun fails on both counts: It doesn't stand up to Wilson's previous efforts; and even if it "technically" did (I'm not certain how this could be quantified, but let's pretend that it somehow could be), there is a real dearth of emotion presented here.

The best moments Wilson ever had, ranging even as far as "The Night Was So Young" off 1977's Love You album, had incredible power, undeniable depth, and extremely raw emotion. For all the Wilsonites out there who love this album, which songs exactly do you feel stand the test of time with "Caroline, No" or "When I Grow Up" or "'Til I Die?" Are we really to believe that "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl" is a true spiritual twin to the original "Surfer Girl?" Am I supposed to be as moved by "Midnight's Another Day" the way I was by "Please Let Me Wonder?"

Then again, what do I know? I think R.E.M.'s Accelerate stands up with anything (excepting Automatic for the People) that they've put out since signing to Warner.

I do agree with you Jim on your point above. I was just upset by what seemed like an angry attack on Wilson. There are alot of reviews of albums that I like that you don't but atleast I can see your point. This review just seemed like a personal attack on Wilson. I agreed with you totally on Getting In Over My Head, and I really feel like that was an album made just to get something out.

I really did not expect to like That Lucky Old Sun. I really thought Smile was a pinnical, and I never thought he can top Pet Sounds. When I first played the CD I did not think I liked it. But I could not get the melody of Southern Californa out of my head, and Good Kind Of Love, for all of it's corn, I found put me in a very happy mood. It's not groundbreaking, but the more I played it the more In started to like it even more. But your review just seemed angry.

Your still my favorate rock writer Jim.

That Lucky Old Sun is the best album I've heard in a while. This review is the worst I've read in a while. I think I'll keep listening to Brian Wilson and just forget about your menial existence. Thanks for a waste of time you nobody. Good luck being a def music critic. I'm sure it will pay off when you're dead.

Personal attacks aside, the fact that BW is still working and may still do more is akin to Ernie Banks or Jordan still swinging bats and dunking..(Wouldn't that be cool) Those in the know have a great thirst for nearly anything that Brian Wilson does. Agree that you can compare with past master works or anything but the sheer fact that we are discussing a new Brian Wilson work says volumes in itself. (Jim D- Do you compare yourself and your works today with your work of the 70's/80'/90's? scary..) Most every other review I have read looked at TLOS favorably and with amazement (As I feel it should be treated).

Jim D - Your disdain and sheer hatred for the Man and his band is scary.. It distorts what you should be doing and that is questionable at best.. Also, Chicago's own Scott Bennett is one of the most talented in a band that was described as "Best Live Band in the World" by Sir Paul. I saw Sir Paul & BW's band play together in LA and it was everything you could imagine. Bennett was layering his harmonies right there with Brian & Paul and it was at that moment the best sounds these ears have ever heard....

Hey! Sorry I'm so late to the game here :-) But while recently trying so so hard to wrap my mind around Mr. Park's alleged magnum opus "Song Cycle" I thought I would try a Google test: "Van Dyke Parks +Overrated" It brought me right here.

I *knew* I could count on you Jim for being the voice of reason. Your articulation of the hype surrounding both of the above mentioned artistes is something I wish I could learn.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on September 4, 2008 9:28 AM.

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