Skip to content

Friends – The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys Friends

Friends

(1968), 6/10
Friends captures a gentleness from Brian Wilson, making it one of the last Beach Boys albums dominated by his vision. There are two different schools of thought about this album – either it’s one of the most coherent and unified albums in The Beach Boys catalogue, full of charm and melody, or it’s relatively lightweight and insubstantial. I’m part of the second camp; while Beach Boys’ strengths like warm vocals and strong melodies are present here, so are weaknesses like ridiculous lyrics (‘Anna Lee, The Healer’), and no single song individually measures up among the group’s best.

As such, it’s hard to pick out the key tracks on Friends; the Carl Wilson-sung title track was chosen as the single, but it stalled at #47, the worst charting Beach Boys single since 1962, perhaps due to its unconventional waltz feel. Brian and Carl share lead vocals on ‘Wake The World’ and ‘Be Here In The Morning’, two of the more substantial tracks on the record. The emergence of Dennis Wilson as a writer is easily the most interesting aspect of this record; while his material isn’t particularly ambitious, his emotional voice makes ‘Be Still’ and ‘Little Bird’ the most meaningful and resonant songs on the album, admittedly not a difficult feat when Brian is busy writing about his uncrowded personal schedule (‘Busy Doin’ Nothin’) and Mike about his masseuse (‘Anna Lee, The Healer’).

Friends does have continuity and a quaint charm to recommend it, but it’s largely unsatisfying; the product of one of pop music’s most talented figures unwilling or unable to challenge himself any further and settling down into a predictable routine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Diary of a Bassist

Musical musings of a bassist/power metal enthusiast

lyriquediscorde

home of all things music

All You Need Is The Beatles

Musical musings on all things...well...musical!

Kid Slender

Let all the children boogie

Simon & Garfunkel 'Time it was...it was'

All you need to know about their careers

REVIEW THE MUSIC

Current music reviews, classic music reviews, live music reviews. All genres, all sounds, no prejudice.

The Voice Of Unreason

Music Reviews/Gigs/Lists/Features/Video - oh my!

MyYellowFeather

Your guide to style! 💛

Old Rope

"It looked like rope, old rope"

%d bloggers like this: