Brian Wilson is often called a genius. This is a difficult one to define but it is without doubt that he with his various compatriots over the years has brought us some of the most enjoyable popular music ever created. He has also created some the most odd and troubled songs. After his renaissance in the late 90s and his subsequent live touring he has shown that his "twilight years" will not see him going for the pipe and slippers quite yet. This album (his first solo effort for 6 years) sees him resurrect some old songs and dish up some new ones too. He has also seen fit to bring in some "guests". One of these is his deceased brother Carl with whom he duets (through the miracle of modern science) with on "Soul Searchin'". This works fine. As does Elton John ("How could we still be dancin'"), Eric Clapton less so on City Blues (solo recorded in another country and patched in), the guitar sounds a little strident and, in places, unnecessary. The one he definitely didn't need was one Paul McCartney. "A friend like you" is a pleasant ditty, the sort that Wilson can carry off quite well in a quaint sort of way, not mawkish, just "pretty". Having McCartney, talented as he obviously is (he was in a popular 60s beat combo, The Beatles apparently) endlessly vocally 'noodling' with the same phrase is just plain irritating. The highlights of the album for me are the title track and "Don't let her know she's an angel", in my opinion classic Wilson songs. All in all, a good and for the most part, very listenable album that should stand repeated playing. As a parting shot, I would say that these recordings stand up much better than the live renditions of some of them that I have seen and heard during the recent touring concerts. 4 out of 5 stars then.