Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Remastered): Pitchfork Review
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Cover Art Beach Boys
Pet Sounds (Remastered)
[Capitol Reissues]
Rating: 7.5

The Beatles claim it inspired Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Some critics say it's better than anything the Beatles ever released. NME even called it "The Best Album of All Time." I guess I can see how someone might think that... but I don't.

See, at the time of its original release a mere 33 years ago, this was a historic recording, a classic. Brian Wilson's complex vocal arrangements, elaborate recording techniques, and orchestral flourishes were groundbreaking enough to permanantly alter the course of music. On the other hand, a lot has happened for music since Pet Sounds. For instance, compare Pet Sounds to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless or Radiohead's OK Computer. To these young ears, Brian Wilson's masterpiece just doesn't stand up.

Sure, the genius of songs like "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)," "God Only Knows," and "Caroline No" is undeniable-- to this day, few people have come close to penning sweeter melodies. But this style of straight- forward pop music, despite its appeal on an instinctual level, has become passe and cliched. If this were not the Beach Boys, but some indie pop outfit on Parasol Records, it might make a few critics' Top 10 lists, if it didn't just vanish into obscurity.

Also, this long- awaited reissue contains both Mono and Stereo versions of the album, a pretty asinine manuever on the record company's part. The Mono version of the album has been available on CD for years-- there's not a Beach Boys fan in the world that doesn't already own it, and anyone interested in purchasing the album at this point will most likely not really be interested in having to skip ahead to Track 15 every time you want to hear the Stereo mix.

Of course, you've got to give the album credit for influencing people like Weezer, Burt Bacharach, and... oh, the Beatles. And it still remains a seminal pop album-- one of pop music's quintessential works of perfection. But, like its creator Brian Wilson, it just wasn't made for these times.

-Ryan Schreiber



Friday, December 8th, 2000
Frank Black & the Catholics:
Dog in the Sand

Pinetop Seven:
Bringing Home the Last Great Strike

Bevis Frond:
Valedictory Songs

Eulcid:
The Wind Blew All the Fires Out



Friday, December 8th, 2000
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    by Matt LeMay
    David Grubbs discusses the recording of his latest album, The Spectrum Between, as well as meeting up with Swedish reedist Mats Gustafsson, teaching at the University of Chicago, and what he holds against expensive guitars...



    6ths
    At the Drive In
    Badly Drawn Boy
    Bonnie Billy & Marquis de Tren
    Bjrk
    Frank Black and the Catholics
    Blur
    Johnny Cash
    Clinic
    Damon & Naomi with Ghost
    Death Cab for Cutie
    Dismemberment Plan
    Don Caballero
    Eleventh Dream Day
    Elf Power
    Eternals
    Faraquet
    For Carnation
    Godspeed You Black Emperor!
    Kim Gordon/Ikue Mori/DJ Olive
    Guided by Voices
    High Llamas
    Ida
    Jets to Brazil
    Joan of Arc
    Karate
    Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek
    Les Savy Fav
    J Mascis and the Fog
    Microphones
    Modest Mouse
    Mouse on Mars
    Rian Murphy & Will Oldham
    Nine Inch Nails
    Oasis
    Olivia Tremor Control
    Pizzicato Five
    Q and Not U
    Radiohead
    Sea and Cake
    Shellac
    Sigur Rs
    Smashing Pumpkins
    Spoon
    Summer Hymns
    Amon Tobin
    Trans Am
    U2
    Versus
    Yo La Tengo

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