Picks and Pans Review: Keepin'the Summer Alive
updated 05/12/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/12/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT
The problem in fact has become keepin' the Beach Boys' music alive. The title track (by Carl Wilson and Randy Bachman) starts off, "Well, when it's ice-cream weather/Get the gang back together/Roll down the windows and drive." For sure! The Boys seem to have been trapped for 18 years on the freeway in their little deuce coupes. Their rhyming has all the inspiration of an 11th-grader passing time at a red light. "Oh, darlin', now that I found you/It's like a piece of puzzle has appeared/And now, my darlin', my love surrounds you." Brian Wilson and Mike Love in Some of Your Love cross from nostalgia to fixation as they recall, "There's nothing like romancing in the stands/Walkin' down the hallway a-holdin' hands." On Goin' On it gets worse. "I look in the mirror/It couldn't be clearer...I love you, I miss you, things won't be the same till I kiss you." Two tunes do work nicely, Livin' with a Heartache (Carl and Randy again) and Santa Ana Winds, by Brian Wilson and Al Jardine. These cuts are lovely because they aren't just about feeling horny in homeroom and break the tired mold long enough for the group's still-fine harmonies to soar. Otherwise, the group hired 23 musicians and a dozen pieces of electronic hardware as a distraction from the thinly stretched material on the 48-track sound. On the Boys' version of Chuck Berry's School Day, Jardine sings, "Hey, hey, rock'n'roll/Deliver us from the days of old." Listening to these midlife marshmellows can make Berry's call seem more urgent than ever.