Sunday, September 21, 2008

WilsonFest 2008

It’s been WilsonFest 2008 around here this past week. Brian Wilson’s new collection, That Lucky Old Sun, has played endlessly, and now I’ve added Smile and even Pet Sounds to the mix.

The new CD, like 2004’s long long long delayed (what, 38 years?) Smile, is really a suite of tunes hard to separate. You’re tempted to skip to track eight and listen right now to “Mexican Girl,” but it just wouldn’t be right. These songs work best listened to in context, not individually. For example, this bit from “Midnight’s Another Day” really nails my life of just two years ago:

When there’s no morning without “u”
There’s only darkness the whole day through
Took the diamond from my soul
And turned it back into coal

But it doesn’t work fully for me without this stanza from “Going Home,” two cuts and a few minutes later:

I heard my sound and found my smile
Living in love, yeah yeah yeah, it’s been a while

That Lucky Old Sun isn’t as ambitious or even as addictive as Smile. But it’s still joyous, a terrific follow-up, and a much-appreciated report from Brian on where his life is at the moment. It’s like oxygen to the brain.

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