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The Beach Boys: The Beach Boys Love You

Mitchell Cohen, Creem, July 1977

There is no TM song, no music-is-swell song, or "unfolding enveloping missiles of soul," or political/ecological commentary. Instead, what we have here is a collection of 14 Brian Wilson compositions (three are collaborations) and a return to the Beach Boys' musical-thematic values of the late 1960's. If the group had been traders in the slobbery hogwash endemic to the era, that would hardly be news worth celebrating; but who would be grumpy enough to complain when faced with a distillation of Pet Sounds atmospheric cohesiveness, Wild Honey plains peak domesticity and stripped-body instrumentation, Smiley Smile jokiness and Friends unadorned sentimentality. It would serve people who cavil about Wilson's lyrics right if Jack Rieley were to make a return as wordsmith.

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