Post by Kapitan on Mar 15, 2019 16:21:19 GMT
I'm no great fan of this album anymore, but I suspect it's a cyclical thing. When I first got it as part of the twofer with CATP around 2000, I thought it the far superior album, and even one of the band's best albums overall. In those days I was excited to learn that the Beach Boys had such creative bursts of quality in those post-Smile years where, as far as I knew at the time, they were all but dead and gone.
Since then, though, I came to appreciate the mid-60s "hits" era a lot more. Concurrently I more generally moved into purer pop music, concise songs, and away from meandering jams and oh-so-serious intentions. I guess my point is, I don't like the poetry in the trilogy. I really don't. Not at all. And I suspect if I had a conversation with Jack Rieley at a party, I'd try to find a way to escape rather than listen to him explain to me how clever he was when he said [whatever].
However I do like all three songs of the California Saga trilogy. "Trader" is really good. I like "Steamboat" for at least a couple minutes. "Only With You" is probably my favorite Dennis Wilson ballad. "Funky Pretty" has interesting bits, and at least it brings a little fun to the album. And I really enjoy the music of the fairy tale. The sound of some of the songs has often been described as muddy, and I have to agree. Maybe makeshift studios in the Netherlands aren't ideal for the Beach Boys after all.
I no longer prefer Holland to CATP, but it's still a good album to be sure, if a bit pretentious. Much as I said with the two earlier-70s albums, I think these two could be paired to make a dynamite single album. (OK, I actually said the others would make a double. But you get the picture.)