Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Let's Be Friends


Man, I love this album. While critics and hipster dorks will froth over Pet Sounds (and rightly they should) they often overlook this jewel in the Beach Boys late 60's tiara. Friends is less about The Beach Boys masterful arrangements, and more like a string of concise, sickeningly sweet jingles all slathered in a world-weary cynicism and insincerity. How the Beach Boys were able to make happy music sound so sinister and depressing is beyond me, but I ain't complaining. Obviously influenced heavily by the Beatles this somehow is way more listenable and dark than anything the Beatles ever put on tape, yeah, I know that is a strong statement but I stand behind it 100%. This album just rules. So by now, everyone knows about Brian Wilson's mental illness, their association with Charles Manson, and all the strange and sinister ephemera that goes along with the Beach Boys, but in my opinion Friends eclipses all that with all its sugar-coated bitterness. So if you wrote The Beach Boys off as goofy Americana nostalgic pablum then you would do wise to listen to this album, there exists a strong undercurrent of darkness hidden within the laid back sunny California vibe. Just plain weird.

Here

9 comments:

jb said...

I always go to The "Wild Honey" album for my Beach Boys fix. I used to avoid them like the plague until I heard their later stuff. Now they are just alright with me.

Anonymous said...

wow. Busy Doin' Nothin' might be the most psychedelic thing i have ever heard. simply trippy.

sweet baby jaysus said...

i'm right there with you brother. as a long time beach boys fan, the post pet sounds era of the beach boys is some of the most honest american music ever put to tape. friends and 20/20 marked a changing of the gaurd so to speak, as brian became less and less involved and carl and dennis came into their own as producers and songwriters (and mike love continued to pursue biggest douche in the history of rock, "student demonstration time" from surf's up and the horrible idea of an album M.I.U., anyone?).
glad to see some others spend a little time on the beach boys.

Anonymous said...

surely worth a try . never really been into their stuff , except the few things one hears occasionally on the radio - harry lime

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is darker.

Anonymous said...

A diamond amongst the rubbish.

Not a great Beach Boys album but compared with the majority of what's being offered here...a freakin' masterpiece.

Aesop said...

Comments are appreciated here, even back-handed douchey ones.

Roger Camden said...

"Be Here In The Morning" suprised me when I first bought this record. It's the choral arrangement of "full" that got me then and still gets me now.
And "Busy Doin' Nothing" is the song that I play for friends when need to demonstrate how wacky Brian Wilson became.

Peter said...

I love this album!