This album is another classic. Again, I never heard it, but I learned that The Beatles were inspired by this album to make Sgt. Pepper. But the creation of this album was influenced by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul. I like the evolving influence that each group had on each other.
Now I’m intrigued to hear it. I’ve also heard stories of Brian Wilson really learning his studio to get the best sound out of it. I’m excited to hear what’s going to happen.
More context: It is the Beach Boys’ 11th album!! That’s just amazing to me. I make sure to reference which number album it is because the great material comes out of consistent work. I say it to remind myself of that and to remind any readers who are also artists in their own right.
On we go. (BTW, I’m listening to the mono version.)
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Nice beginning. I love their harmonies, especially in the bridge. This feels like a tight song to me – solid structure, good writing, easy to listen to and understand.
You Still Believe In Me – Nice song. I like the lyrics to this. The overall sound is super nice. The Beach Boys have a distinct feel. As they get to the end of the song, I can catch an idea of where the influences start to come in.
That’s Not Me – They get right into the song! No intros. The words take me away a bit. It feels very diary’esque because of the confessional style as he gets further into the song. It doesn’t feel like there is a lot of instrumentation, which makes the singer the focus. And, of course, the harmonies and vocal work sounds really good. By the 11th album, I’m sure the Boys got that down. Not too many musical changes. Makes it easy to take in.
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) – I’m just realizing now that I haven’t really heard drums, outside of the ride cymbal in this particular song. (Note: There are drums on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”) This song oozes vibe. So lovely. Especially the lyrics. I could see a lot couples making out to this song for sure.
I’m Waiting For The Day – And now my drums come in! The lyrics are pretty lay-it-all-out-there. I like it. The song arrangement and vibe isn’t my style, but I dig it. I like the instrumentation on this, especially the mini-breakdown with the violin. The lyrics really strike me on this because of the emotional journey the writer allows you to join. And I like the directness of his voice as well.
Let’s Go Away For A While – It’s just an instrumental, but it’s super dope. I like the changes and I love the vibe. I don’t hear these kind of arrangements, so it’s nice to just listen to.
Sloop John B – I’m wondering if listening in mono affects how I take in the music. I don’t feel the music is moving me. (It’s also not really my style. I’ll give you that.) What a crazy story, though! And it’s even crazier to learn that Brian Wilson worked on this song for months! The arrangement is great. I like how the music and vocals play with each other. The bass feel prominent throughout the album.
God Only Knows – Feels like a Beatles song. Makes me want to listen to Rubber Soul next. The words are quite romantic here. I’m sure lots of people loved to hear this song. I really enjoy the lyrical melody on this song. It works well with their voice and their harmonies. I like the percussive element keeping time.
I Know There’s An Answer – The musical motif is solid. The structure is there – very repetitive with a few breaks and changes. The writing is like a diary – “I know there’s an answer. I know but I have to find it by myself.” The arrangements are always changing, which I like, because it’s pretty repetitive in today’s music.
Here Today – Wow…the writer (Brian Wilson?) must have had some serious relationship issues!!! The twist in the writing is crazy to me! He is definitely making a point. I like the motion of the lyrical melody. The musical changes are great. I can see why the Beatles enjoyed this album and used it as an influence.
I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times – Brian Wilson referenced a circular nature to the songwriting, and it’s evident in this song. I like it. There is a lot of motion melodically. And the music never overshadows the lyrics, it enhances it. The writing is about him being ahead of his time because of all the things that go wrong, which is an interesting take.
Pet Sounds – Another instrumental. I can hear the “beach” on this. Feels like evening. Parts of it feel like a 70s spy theme. Great instrumentation and arrangement.
Caroline, No – There is a lot of tragedy in the writing. Great melodic ideas, but the lyrics make me go, “Damn! Why, Caroline? Why?” Simple arrangement. Interesting song to end an album with. The ending caught my attention, with the train and the barking dog. The Beatles definitely took it further, but it’s great to hear the inspiration behind it!
This album is so vibey! I really enjoyed listening to it and I can’t wait to go through it again!! The music doesn’t catch me right away, but I think part of that is because I listen in mono. It makes me think of the importance of songwriting and melody and how that can make a difference in a good or great song. Similar to Dark Side Of The Moon, I can hear the intention behind the work. No filler songs, no filler moments, every part is purposeful. The harmonies are great. The Beach Boys really have a sound of their own.
As Spotify keeps playing, I’m typing to a stereo version of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and it is making a big difference. At least a very noticeable one. If it sounds good in mono, it will definitely sound good in stereo. Good to know. Good to know. I do think mono keeps the focus on whether or not it’s a good song. When you lose the “painting” of stereo panning, what becomes important? I would say the song.
I like this vibe today.