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Album Review

Capitol Records
Produced by Brian Wilson
Engineered by Mark Linett
Mixed by Michael Corcoran, Brian Wilson, Scott Bennett
Mastered by Bob Ludwig

2 out of 5 mics

It's difficult for me to be so tough on Brian Wilson. He's absolutely one of my musical heroes. But this album just doesn't do much for me. It feels kind of forced. It sounds slightly dated. There are a few good songs, but nothing really stands out. Lyrically it's rather laborious, and at times silly and a little embarrassing. Mr. Wilson teamed up with Van Dyke Parks for this one, but it's been a long time since Pet Sounds and the lyrical ease of that album is nowhere to be found here.

I'm not going to go into a song by song breakdown. The high-points are "Can't Wait Too Long" (no silly lyrics here, just beautiful singing and harmony), and "Midnight's Another Day" (beautiful piano, poignant lyrics, good performance by Brian).
The low-points are the narrative bits (of which there are plenty) where Brian gives flowery descriptions of L.A., "Good Kind of Love", and "Mexican Girl". I'm not going to pick them apart, but listen and I think you'll hear why I consider them sub-par.

The production is great, as you'd expect from Brian Wilson. That Lucky Old Sun was obviously recorded on some quality vintage gear. Mark Linett has been working with Brian since the 80's and knows how to get the sounds Brian is hearing in that amazing mind of his. The arrangements on most of the album are pretty straightforward. Not really pushing too far musically. Basically this is Brian's tribute to days gone by.

Hardcore fans will appreciate the album and the work that went into it, but the magic just isn't there on That Lucky Old Sun. Sorry Brian - please forgive me.