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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful album - huge feel good factor
When I first bought this album I was a little unsure about it. I had recently bought 'smile' which has is one of my favourite album ever. I was amazed when I listened to this at how good it was - if you like 'smile' you will probably like this album. Wilson's harmonies are absolutely fantastic, especially on the title track. There is a jazz sensibility about the...
Published on 25 July 2005 by Oscar Wilde

versus
12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meringue
This album is meringue, battenburg cake and candyfloss, very sickly and bad for the teeth. Tastes real good for the first ten minutes, then you gradually start turning green and queasy as the endless nostalgic melodies, orchestras and monotonous Brian Wilson harmonies flow on and on, and you realise it's gonna be like this for the whole 47 minutes. I speak as a fervent...
Published on 19 April 2002 by P. Bryant


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful album - huge feel good factor, 25 July 2005
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This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
When I first bought this album I was a little unsure about it. I had recently bought 'smile' which has is one of my favourite album ever. I was amazed when I listened to this at how good it was - if you like 'smile' you will probably like this album. Wilson's harmonies are absolutely fantastic, especially on the title track. There is a jazz sensibility about the music, kind of like the Four Freshmen. Each song is very different, cleverly written and there is a huge range of instruments. It is quite a sonic experience in itself.
There is a feel of Americana in many of the songs and an old world innocence which suits Wilson's voice and harmonies perfectly. There is also a mellow Beach Boys vibe to it. I really love this album and enjoy it more each time I listen to it. The music is complex so it deserves more than just a casual listen.
This is serious music and seriously good. I rate it among Brian Wilson's best albums, absolutely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution Genius' at work, 27 Sept. 2008
By 
Ianham "Ianham" (Ross-shire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
Fantastic album - thanks to Van Dyke Parks Brian can concentrate on working his magic over vocals. Intended or not there specks of Stephen Foster and Steely Dan. "San Francisco" alone is worth the cost of the CD - certainly in my top five Brian songs. That said all of these songs stick in the memory long after hearing them. A very playable album and not one to sit on the shelf. The cover says it all - it has that washed out hazy feel of a hot afternoon. Buy and luxuriate.

I commend this CD to the house.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, high-quality music that works its magic every time, 31 Dec. 2010
By 
Mr. S. R. Ronson "Steven Ronald Ronson" (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
I have been a fanatical Brian Wilson/Beach Boys fan since the 1960s and I promise you that this is my favourite work from the BW/BB output (even including 'Pet Sounds' and 'Smile').

The review that I read at the time of the album's release (The Wolverhampton Express & Star) said 'don't expect the son of 'Smile''. However, that's precisely what it is! Two mature men, revisiting each other and showcasing each other's talent to a very high degree.

The music is rich and full, throughout. The complex, layered and lush arrangements are jazzy, orchestral and, dare I say it, neo-caribbean sounding in parts. There's a spice and a tinge of rum in all the tracks.

Brian sings most of the parts himself (all bar two tracks) and, although it's the 'old' Brian we hear, his leads and harmonies are as original, inventive and as spot-on as he's ever been. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he never sounded better. Brian reminds me of Donald Fagen in certain phrases on this album. His contribution is solely vocals, the songs being expertly crafted by the polymath Van Dyke Parks.

There is a link with 'Smile', throughout, as VDP writes in a very 'Steinbeckian' way of a rustic and optimistic America, where holidays, movies, hobos on freight trains and childhood sweethearts abound. There is also a connection with the ocean/sea and a longing to be under a palmtree and moon. I always think of those lyrics when I feel under pressure or sad.

Smile was a fantastic (if long overdue) surprise and was every bit as good as it promised to be 37 years previous, but this came 'out of the blue' and I hardly ever hear a mention of it.

Believe me, this music will gladden the hearts and charm just about everyone (except maybe fans of Mega-Death). There's nothing new here, it's almost unashamedly pre-rock'n'roll (Perry Como, Hoagy Carmichael, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby et al). It is escapism, reminiscence and daydreaming all in one. It always brings out the best in me and, if I were ever on 'Desert Island Discs', this would be the album that I would choose to keep.

Beautiful innocence.

Brian Wilson par excellence!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off the wall, notorios wilson rumness and superb engineering, 24 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
When I first slipped this CD into my player, after tweaking the disk itself, I felt like that guy in the armchair in those Maxell ads!
The basslines are powerful and rythmic, choruses rich and layered, lyrics poetic, nostalgic and at times obscure [by van dyke parks probably].
It may not be exactly radio airplay friendly and it's anything but commercial. This, I guess is half the appeal. Don't buy this album if you like your music categorised in little boxes. It is niether Pop, Rock, Country or indie, the nearest I can place it is Surf Rock.
If you liked George Martin's 'In My Life', you'll probably like this.
It is an album that is by turns refreshing, happy, warm and sad, whilethe orchestration and arrangements are peerless with rich, layered instrumentation with REAL drums, which makes a change.
In some respects it reminds me of the Beach Boys album 'Holland' {I have 'Trader' in mind].
Buy this album if you like a surprise and are open minded as its huge fun and full of melody.
Just a pity it wasn't masterd as a 24bit HDCD disc, as the dynamic range would have been goose pimply!
His 'Imagination' album also has superb production just like this one...
In short, WIERD BUT FUN!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oranges are not the only Fruit, 10 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
Apart from his debut solo album, I think this is probably Wilson's strongest work. Although written by Van Dyke Parks, Parks definitely had Brian Wilson in mind when he first thought up the record (Parks did try to encourage Brian Wilson to contribute songs to the project, but Wilson wasn't interested).
So what we have is a very ambitious, lush record, with complex harmonies & great melodies. The record is almost like a concept album, with many of the tracks exploring aspects of American culture or reminiscing about various locations in U.S.
Unfortunately the Quality of Brian Wilson's solo offering took has taken a bit of a nose dive since "Orange crate..", which makes this album all the more special
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Annable, 16 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
I found this fabulous CD after buying In The Key Of Disney and Reimagines Gershswin
and I am not disappointed in the least.Long live playing samples of the CD on line
Amazon you should do this more on older stuff as the over 50s do not get to browse in
record shops anymore.You'll never find this in your local record shop and will need a
second mortgage to buy it at HMV.No wonder they are done for.
Thank you Rick Sterling at EliteDigital your prompt response and delivery schedule were
exactly right as were your updates.
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12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meringue, 19 April 2002
By 
P. Bryant (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
This album is meringue, battenburg cake and candyfloss, very sickly and bad for the teeth. Tastes real good for the first ten minutes, then you gradually start turning green and queasy as the endless nostalgic melodies, orchestras and monotonous Brian Wilson harmonies flow on and on, and you realise it's gonna be like this for the whole 47 minutes. I speak as a fervent Brian Wilson fan, but this is a Van Dyke Parks album, make no mistake. An album in praise of the rich white Californian lifestyle of the fabulous fifties and soaraway sixties. Never is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy or grey. It's a happy album, but the happiness is of the big-toothpaste-advert-smile variety, the kind you see on holiday brochures, all those folks having so much fun fun fun. Some of the songs might have been rescued from their aggravatingness if Brian hadn't chosen to layer a million vocal tracks over everything, making all the harmonies sound identical, and therefore soulless - and this is Brian we're talking about, who knows ALL about what harmony can do. But he probably knew that if he tried any harder with this stuff it'd just be wasted effort. Skip this one and proceed to Live at the Roxy by Brian or Song Cycle by Van Dyke Parks (now there's a genuinely strange record).
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brian Wilson ?, 4 April 2010
By 
Mr. P. Collins "henry" (South Devon, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Orange Crate Art (Audio CD)
As a Beach Boys, Brian Wilson fan I thought, at a reasonable price, I would purchase this album.

This is not really a Brian Wilson album. Very bland, uninspiring album.
Expected more of a 'Surf's Up' from Wilson's collaboration with Van Dyke Parks.
Very disappointed with this purchase.
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Orange Crate Art by Van Dyke Parks (Audio CD - 1995)
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