5.0 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly S'Wonderful!, 26 Aug 2011
Like many I suspect, fans and non-fans alike, my initial reaction to the album title - 'Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin' was "WHAT?-OH NO!".
Let me declare, I am a fan of both the Beach Boys and the work of Brian, both with the group and later, as a solo artist. Some of his solo efforts however have been a bit hit & miss in my opinion with many good songs but some not really up to standard.
Listening to this new album however, I have to say how pleasantly pleased and surprised I am.
It really is very good, combining as it does Wilson's superb arranging skills with some great Gershwin melodies.
The decision to begin and end the album with brief interpretations from 'Rhapsody in Blue' was an inspiration, providing as it does, a wonderful 'wrap around' for the songs within.
Let's be honest, life and time have taken their toll on Brian's singing voice and performing live, his voice does struggle, relying heavily on backing and supporting vocals. It's the same on this album. Although Brian's voice is clear and well to the fore (with some auto-tune technology I suspect) there is much evidence of vocal support and multi-layering.
I've no problem with all however as the result is really so very good.
Standout tracks for me? 'S'Wonderful' and two others which I confess were new to me, 'I loves you Porgy' & 'Nothing but love'.