Friday, June 30, 2023

The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966)

As milquetoast as this album is, there's a darkness under the wholesomeness. It was the soundtrack of the United States' war in Vietnam, and the casual references to bad trips mark Brian Wilson's own personal downward spiral into drug abuse. These things being the case make listening to Pet Sounds an uncanny experience. And there's other stuff that's just plain weird.

The sound effects, for instance. The upbeat voice of Wilson singing melancholy lyrics. "I guess I just wasn't made for these times," he repeats in one refrain.

This juxtaposition of light and dark is no bueno, my friend, and yet I do have to say I enjoy this album quite a bit. Provided you don't think about the lyrics, Pet Sounds serves as great ambient music. But you already know that.

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