The Beach Boys Today is a wonderful album, and the first album to be significant as a whole. The first half is full of perfectly-crafted, upbeat material while the second half is full of lovely, moving ballads with outstanding orchestration. "Kiss Me Baby," "She Knows Me Too Well," and "In the Back of My Mind" are particularly impressive, as is the early version of "Help Me Ronda." This album is arguably the finest by the Beach Boys, perfectly setting the stage for the legendary Pet Sounds.
Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) finds Brian with a more comfortable, casual approach in his craft, and the album consists of a handful of great tunes, such as "California Girls," "You're So Good To Me," and the beautiful instrumental "Summer Means New Love." Most of the rest, however, are half-baked filler, but not without decent fun.