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.