_That's Why God Made the Radio _
REVIEW *BOB GORDON *For all the joy the Beach Boys have brought to the world, they sure have caused some heartbreak for their fans. For local followers, a 1978 concert at the Perth Entertainment Centre saw the late Carl and Dennis Wilson in drunken decline, in what became an infamous performance. Brian Wilson's brilliance has existed seemingly at the expense of his everyday faculties and the arrogant Mike Love would sue anyone who breathed, most recently Al Jardine. That they have reunited to be the most "real" Beach Boys of many years for their 50th anniversary is both a dream and a potential nightmare for devotees. Fortunately, That's Why God Made the Radio (and its titular single) focuses on the band's great strengths - the incredible harmonies and the easygoing celebration of good times. The mythology of the Beach Boys must be an insurmountable wall for the band itself to face but they have pressed on with a notion of who they are and what they have been, so songs such as Isn't It Time, Spring Vacation and Pacific Coast Highway, reflect fondly - at times quite literally - on the good vibrations of yore, while The Private Life of Bill and Sue makes a point about lives lived on television and the viewing public's obsession of such "from Santa Barbara to Jersey Shore, at the line in the grocery store". The important thing to consider here is that the Beach Boys are neither re-creating nor re-imagining their old hits, more reminiscing on them. You can still smile at their pet sounds, so to speak. The motor's running, you just have to climb inside the car.
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