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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale

Beach Boys Surf’s Up

And then there's this album.

I never got the Beach Boys. It's like that person you love/hate. They excite you, they drive you nuts, they repulse you, they attract you. You want to walk away but...

Pet Sounds is amazing, but philosophically so. I never emotionally connected to the band.

Surf’s Up came out in 1971. It’s a band fully in control of its sound. The band knows what it wants to say and knows how to get it done. It's all over the place.

’Don’t Go Near The Water’ is crazy music. Which I mean as a compliment. It just goes where it goes under a lyric that resonates neatly into the Climate Crisis fifty years later.

’Till I Die’ brought me to a complete stand-still on a city sidewalk as the harmonies melted my head. No autotune artifice.

The album is high-concept and 60s hangover weirdness over Brian Wison’s probing harmonic galactic quest for new ways to break your heart with haunting vocal beauty.

It's taken my ears years to catch up with some of his deeper tracks.



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