Monday, September 13, 2004
There was an article this weekend in the NY Times about "Smile," the album that Brian Wilson said was supposed to be "a teenage symphony to God." In the article he says, "It was finally ready to be finished, ready to be accepted.... We thought it was too advanced for people at that time. We think people are now ready to understand where it was coming from. Back then, no one was ready for it." In earlier interview he said, "I thought it was too weird, I thought it was too druggie influenced, I thought the audience wouldn't get it." So he says it was too advanced, but it sounds to me like it was too overt. Brian Wilson wrote much better music when he was channeling the Four Preps and collaborating with Mike Love. When I listen to "Heroes and Villains," for instance, it just sounds like a good Beach Boys song that loses its momentum because Wilson needed to show his genius. The break in the action on that song is really nothing more than the psychedelic breakdown that every amateur songwriter puts in instead of a real bridge. But Brian Wilson had better singers and musicians than your average guy, so the breakdowns sound pretty decent. But they are just as pointless.