Pet Sounds Live

Brian Wilson

Sanctuary Records, 2002

REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/21/2003

I must admit I am a huge fan of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, and the group in general. But that particular record is a milestone. There are very few albums that feel perfect all the way through from the beginning to end. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Pet Sounds is definitely one of those albums. The melodies and lyrics both feel perfect. The words are still very relevant today to anyone who is growing up and experiencing relationship ups and downs.

Brian Wilson, who created Pet Sounds -- and the Beach Boys' formula, for that matter -- decided to perform the album in its entirety at some of his recent live shows. I was very curious how the music would sound thirty years later.

The answer is, it sounds very warm -- the music still possesses lot of love and passion, as it did at its inception. Sure, you can argue that Wilson's voice is not as strong as it once was, and sometimes cracks over the harmonies, or that the overall sound is lacking because Brian is singing alone as opposed to with the whole band. The arguments can be endless, but that's not the point.

I got this record because I wanted to enjoy the music I remembered. Despite some technical limitations, this album is great, and gets better with each listen. We're dealing here with a performer who has an absolute passion for this material, which in fact is deeply rooted in his life. You can't argue with this point -- Brian Wilson means every note he plays or sings on this album.

I think this might some sort of homecoming for Wilson to be able to go back and do the whole album, and truly retain its greatness. I'm very happy to see that happen, as this piece of work has stood the test of time, and made fools of its earlier critics.

Rating: A

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© 2003 Mark Kadzielawa and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sanctuary Records, and is used for informational purposes only.