That Lucky Old Sun

 
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Product Description

Brand new album from legendary writer, producer, arranger and performer Brian Wilson, produced by Brian and created in the Capitol Records Studios where he first recorded in 1962.

Customer Reviews:

  • Brian Wilson - That Lucky Old Sun
    Brian Wilson followed his 2004 album Gettin' In Over My Head with the 2008 disc That Lucky Old Sun. The album was a collaboration with lyricist Van Dyke Parks, who he had worked with on the legendary aborted Beach Boys project Smile. Both artists are on fine form throughout this album, with Brian performing some terrific melodies, and Parks turning in some great lyrics, with typical dimensionality ("First love is the moment/You can never repeat, but you'll always own it"). Brian's band, The Wondermints, helps out on harmonies, creating something akin to a Beach Boys album - and creatively, this is maybe circa 1970.

    Nostalgia features heavily on this disc, and although it doesn't suffocate it, the past is definitely the central concept here, with songs like "Morning Beat", "California Role" and others providing not so much an accurate portrait of the past, but a distorted view of the fabled American Dream. This is most certainly Brian in his comfort zone - and that doesn't matter, as it also provides comfort of the familiar variety to the listener too.

    Although his voice isn't as strong as it once one - health problems have, after all, been a consistent feature in Brian's life - this is most certainly the same guy who gave us so many classics; pivotal musical moments immortalised both on dusty vinyl and shiny disc. That Lucky Old Sun does, says Brian, consist of "five rounds", interspersed with occasional narrative passages. There are no gaps in between songs, and as such, the album stands unavoidably as a body of work, although songs like the jubilant "Good Kind of Love" and "Forever My Surfer Girl" can be placed on their own as marvelous pieces of highly orchestrated, big production pop.

    Often, the disc sounds like a Beach Boys record, and those Wondermint harmonies are so precise, it's hard not to believe that Carl and Dennis aren't on backing (and on "Can't Wait to Long", you'll be swearing they are). References to his late brothers abound, even if the nods are mostly celestial ("I had a dream/Singing with my brothers/In harmony/Supporting each other").

    In the final analysis, That Lucky Old Sun is, at the very least, a good, solid fifth album (that's including the Smile revival), chock full of fabulous songs ("Mexican Girl, "Going Home" to name two of many) and even if it proves to be his final work - which is always likely, as Imagination looked that way for six years - then it will be a most satisfying curtain call indeed. ...more info
  • Still has it!
    Brian still comes up with catchy tunes! I would not expect him to write another Good Vibrations....but this stuff here is still fun to listen to! Check it out!!!!!...more info
  • Shot of vitamin C; not to mention A, B, and E
    This is one of the finest albums of the rock 'n' roll era. Mr. Wilson reveals his soul to us, explaining (to some extent) the how's and why's of his journey from stardom to depression to contentment. The joy of the Beach Boys' music comes through loud and clear, his maturing musicianship (and outlook) only making it that much more enjoyable. ...more info
  • Great tunes, shame about the vocals
    Brian Wilson is great - a genius. He writes terrific songs. But, hey, he's 66, and while this album contains melodies any Wilson fan will be comfortable with, his singing is just not up to it. Some of the lyrics are a bit banal. In Mexican Girl: "Couldn't you picture me in your family tree?" Really! This album benefits from all the best production techniques technology has, but it still can't disguise a quavering, at times off-key, voice. This is evident in Forever My Surfer Girl. There comes a time when even the best have to call it quits. In Brian's case, vocally, that time is now. Well, it should have been before this album....more info
  • Wonderful new work from a musical legend
    The fact that Brian Wilson is creating new music after his well-documented past, and that the work is almost as good as "Smile" is worthy of monster musical headlines.
    "That Lucky Old Sun" has surprised me. Admittedly, I'm a biased fan of Brian's, so that this work has proven to be so good is truly astonishing. This 66-year old genius, who had avoided the spotlight for the better part of three decades, crippled by drugs, mental illness and insecurities about his talent, has performed the greatest comeback probably in musical history. After performing the legendary "Smile" live in London in 2004, Wilson discovered he and his work were loved, on the same level and dedication as we love the Beatles or Elvis. He was sufficiently revived to record "Smile" with his great band the "Wondermints", release a good solo album "Gettin' In Over My Head", and touring almost incessantly, something Wilson fans could never have expected.
    "That Lucky Old Sun" adds another notch in his belt, and the world is a better place for it. The CD is a conceptual piece, much like "Smile" and all the material is new, unlike previous solo efforts that had some new music but older unreleased work as well, not that it made them any worse. What we get is cohesion, making it nearly impossible to break the new work down in separate pieces. There are standouts - "Forever My Surfer Girl", and my favorite, the bouncy yet autobiographically revealing "Oxygen To The Brain", and no cut comes across as filler.
    Wilson is a superb producer - one of the best to ever make any album any time, and his work here is without peer. In a world getting seemingly darker all the time, "That Lucky Old Sun", a paeon to Brian's beloved Los Angeles and look at his own life, is a sorely needed ray of sunshine that belongs in every home....more info
  • Best Work in years...........
    On the first listen I could tell this was really going to be special. I think this cd is Wilson at his best. As much as I loved Brian Wilson Presents SMILE, I think this will appeal to more fans. Who would have thought at 66 years old Wilson would deliver such a beautiful complex (listen to those chords music lovers) masterpeice. What can anyone say about the band. Awesome, comes to mind. Can't wait to hear what's going to come next. Once again, thank you Brian. You have the heart of an angel....more info
  • That Lucky Old Beach Boy
    Pure and simple, this is a concept album along the lines Brian Wilson - SMiLE. Although not as ambitions as his "teenage symphony to God," it still has its charm. It is a small love story set against the background of 21st Century Los Angeles.

    What makes this album distinctive is that like "the most famous album never released" (which was finally released in 2004) the songs flow together. There are tracks to this album, but as it plays, you are treated to a half-hour long mega-song. The hard-core Wilson-philes will recognize this same technique from Sunflower/Surf's Up "Cool, Cool Water," or Brian Wilson "Rio Grande."

    Really, as I played the album the second time around, I was reminded of that oddity "Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)" off of Carl & The Passions - So Tough / Holland. We have the songs intermixed with narration. This time, instead of an acid-based fair-tale, we get a down-to-earth love story. Which is something--hopefully--we can all relate to.

    The arraignment and sound is pure Wilson. We have layers of harmonies, gentle instrumentation, and pure innocence that approaches holiness. Maybe that is what attracts me to Brian so--there is something kind and gentle with his soul. By no means is he a Pollyanna optimist--just read his autobiography (Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story). But he has been able to transcend his trauma, and it shows in his music. His music is a blood-transfusion of goodness.

    There are several down sides. As a mega-song concept album, we do not have any stand-out songs, such as "Imagination," "Lay Down Burden," or "South America" (From Imagination ). So when you listen, get you head and heart in the right frame of mind. We do, however, get a fine pseudo-cover of "Can Wait Too Long." Brian can never escape "his first group"--and he should not even try. Fans like me love the whole spectrum of Brian's career--Beach Boys, Solo, or the covert Jan and Dean work he did.

    The second issue has nothing to do with Mr. Wilson, but the company. The packaging is an all-cardboard affair. Well, it does get us off of foreign oil. But it also makes it hard to handle the CD. Do we have to destroy the CD in order to save the planet? There is a track listing, but the tracks are not numbered, which is annoying for keeping track of the tracks. And why not put all the bonus tracks on one CD, as was done with his recent Christmas album (What I Really Want for Christmas)? Fans deserve better.

    In sum, not a stellar foot-tapping album, but one that you would love to go to bed to or to wake up to, if you are an expatriated Californian like I am. It calls of home.
    ...more info
  • a lone dissenting voice
    i have every beach boys record. i love the beach boys. there is nothing i'd like more than to have one or two more beach boys songs to listen to and cherish. i wanted this record to be great. so many bad records are released every year, we all need new stuff to play and of which we can be proud. that being said, there is not a single song on this record i'll continue to listen too. yes, it sounds like the beach boys. yes the backround vocals sound like the real thing. yes his voice has lost it quite a bit. but that's not the problem for me. the question is simply will i keep listening to this cd or will i rely entirely on the beach boys back catalog instead? yes, we can all feel good saying lots of positive things about this record, but it doesn't matter much if we don't keep listening to these songs or start humming these songs while we doing our daily chores. if you'd like the beach boys mixed with a touch of vaudeville and high school talent shows, your ship may have come in. if you want to fall in love with a new beach boys style song, prepare to lower your expectations....more info
  • Worth a listen.
    There are plenty of Beach Boys deep cuts to try, and several sources to read about Brian Wilson's story (essential). Give this CD a try, take it as a whole. There are some things you're going to love right away, like "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl," "Midnight's Another Day." and "Southern California". Others will sneak up on you after several spins. Get to know Brian, and you won't be disappointed....more info
  • Brilliant! Brian Wilson is in mid-60's form!
    I've always thought Brian Wilson was one of the finest writers of pop music ever. For those who think the Beach Boys' leader wrote only silly surf and hot rod songs, Brian was one of the most sensative writers of pretty medodic pop. His ballads were poignant and featured many complex and beautiful harmonies. I was skeptical when my buddy asked me to check this new release out. I thought Brian had used up everything in his last release "Smile", which was a noble effort to finish a 1967 project that was shrouded under mysterious stories. But this time out, Brian shows he can still write the beautiful harmonies he did in the mid-1960's when his albums featured many of Brian's melodic tunes. This is brilliant! I have listened to this CD about six times now and am amazed. Quite simply, Brian still sings and writes tunes as good as ever. He is in mid-1960's form with this excellent and fun release. Makes me feel like I'm 19 again. ...more info
  • Astonishing
    Some perspective on my review: I am 52 years old. I enjoy the old Beach Boys music, but I'n not a fanatic. I don't swoon over Pet Sounds. So, I approached this with modest expectations. I have about 43 bajillion tunes on my PC, and I never have enough time to listen to them all. But I find myself playing this one over and over and over and over again. First, and most simply, it makes me happy. It is bouncy, catchy, well-crafted, fun music. It touches me, too. I know that Brian had a lot of pain, and you can hear the pure joy in this. It is a Beach Boys album for a Sunday morning. All the joy of youth, all the wistful knowing of middle age. Brian invites us into his world and it's a great place to spend time....more info
  • Nothing I'd listen to twice
    Brian Wilson is an icon, a national treasure, but this new offering is for die-hards only. Those swayed by the legacy of days gone by and who have a soft spot in their heart for Brian will overlook the 'more of the same-but not nearly as accomplished' feel to the material. They are likely the same fans who just can't allow themselves to admit that without support, his voice is shot. Just one man's opinion, but I'd rather listen to something from his stunningly brilliant glory days than a second go-round of any song in this new collection....more info
  • I've waited all my life for this album....
    Here it is, the album we all knew he could make, and he has done it.
    I don't throw the word masterpiece around too often. 'Smile' came close, but Brian takes us on a musical journey that leaves Smile way behind.
    Shame on me, I really thought Brian had shot his creative bolt, I should have known better. I'm so blown away by this album, I bought loads of copies and gave them to my friends, and everyone of 'em loved it.

    Brian, from the bottom of my (and I'm sure thousands of others)heart.

    Thank you....more info
  • STILL FEELING THOSE GOOD VIBRATIONS
    MORE POP SOUNDING THAN "SMILE", THIS IS WHAT THE BEACH BOYS WOULD SOUND LIKE IF THEY WERE STILL MAKING NEW MUSIC AND ALBUMS WITH BRIAN WILSON TODAY. IF TOP 40 RADIO WAS STILL AROUND, THIS ALBUM WOULD HAVE SEVERAL ENTRIES INTO THE GENRE. THESE SONGS COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN AND RECORDED FORTY YEARS AGO. NO NEW GROUND BROKEN HERE, BUT IT STILL SOUNDS GREAT. COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT THE NARRATIVES, THO'....more info
  • It is OK
    This is not a bad album. Wilson will never reach the level he was at with the early Beach Boys. This one has some good songs but he could do better....more info
  • Loads of Fun
    I can't stop listening to this CD! I had the opportunity to see Brian Wilson and his ridiculously talented band at the Hollywood Bowl in September - truly a magical evening. Caught up in the spirit of the evening, I overpaid for the CD at the concert.

    For purposes of full disclosure, I live in Southern California. I love it here and because this music is all about LA, it speaks to me on that level. Having said that, let there be no doubt that Brian Wilson still "has it". There is creativity here in spades, the arrangements are spectacular and yes, it is a slick production. Check out the Amazon Video of "Forever My Surfer Girl" for a representative sample.

    While Mr. Wilson's voice barely resembles the golden tenor of the 1960's, there is an honesty and wisdom in his delivery that can bring you to tears. I will often set my mp3 player on shuffle and whenever I hear a tune off of this CD, I almost always stop and listen to the whole disc. There currently isn't any other CD in my collection for which I can make this claim.

    To listen to "That Lucky Old Sun" is to experience Southern California through Brian Wilson's eyes - Lucky indeed. ...more info
  • Brian Wilson is the Beach Boys and this CD Proves It!
    Many years from now, when the music lovers of the future look towards the classics, Brian Wilson's work will be among them. There are two groups of touring "Beach Boys" floating around right now, one lead by Mike Love and one by Al Jardine. But without the Wilson brothers and especially Brian, they are not the Beach Boys; they are more like those "sound alike" groups that had names designed to confuse you and that used to put out 99 cent albums of covers for those too cheap to buy the originals. (In fact, maybe Love and Jardine should pick out alternate names for their touring groups like "The Surf Boys" or "The Beach Bums".) Anyway, the point is that Brian Wilson is the only surviving member who can lay claim to the Beach Boys title and he is the only one that is putting out new material worth hearing. If you like the Beach Boys of the "Pet Sounds" and "California Girls" era, you will love this album! I first listened to it when I popped it into my car's CD player on the way to work. I enjoyed it so much that I arrived at work a little late. I drove a little longer to allow myself the chance to hear the complete work. I know this is "Beach Boys heresy" to say this but I like it more than the legendary "Smile" project that took 40 years to complete. If you're a Beach Boys fan, do yourself a favor and check this one out!...more info
  • A big, sun-splashed kiss from Southern California...
    ...that's exactly what this album is like. I dare you not to smile from ear to ear while listening!

    I have reluctantly come to expect not too much from Brian's albums these days (with the exception of the amazing Smile, that is), acknowledging his genius while believing his best work is for the most part behind him, but this album happily proves me wrong. It's simply a delight from start to finish. Just gorgeous. Of course, Brian's band and backup singers are just about the best around, faithfully helping Brian recreate the sounds he pioneered 45 years ago. Kudos to them.

    Brian sounds very good indeed vocally, strong, centered, and happy; that's echoed in the lyrics too. It's a pleasure to hear.

    I wonder if this album will have much appeal beyond Brian's long-time fans; it's a shame that it probably won't be very widely heard, but you know what? We have it; I have it, and I'm happy.

    Hell, as a life-long New Yorker, I don't even much like South California, but this album could convert me if anything could!

    I wrote this having listened through for the very first time (just bought the download - probably going to have to buy a hard copy, too - rare for me - just to have the package).

    OMG, this is SO GOOD!!! Don't hesitate - pick this up!...more info
  • Sadly...only two-and-a-half stars from me
    This doesn't move me the way Brian Wilson recordings usually do. There are some pretty melodies (particularly "Forever She'll Be My My Surfer Girl"), but more often than not the songs sound routine and rehashed. The spoken interludes are an interesting idea, and I think they are cleverly written, but--as spoken by Brian--they don't really work. The worst moments here are "Mexican Girl" with its cringe-inducing lyrics, and the hopelessly corny "California Role." "Live Let Live" is a pleasant highlight, and both "Midnight's Another Day" and "Southern California" feature memorable refrains. The best track might actually be one of the bonus tracks (on an exclusive edition available from another retailer). It's called "Just Like Me And You," and it sounds like an outtake from Brian's first solo album....more info
  • SMiLE Is A Hard Act To Follow
    This being the follow-up to the greatly anticipated, 37-years-in-the-making "SMiLE", it is hard to review "That Lucky Old Sun" objectively without disconnecting oneself from the expectations placed on Brian in in 1966/1967. If one evaluates the recording from the perspective of 1988's "Brian Wilson", one could be more fair.

    The good news is that Brian is no longer overdubbing harmony vocals over his leads as much, leaving his very talented support to lend their vocal ranges to the mix. The arrangements are very organic and human, unlike "Brian Wilson", or the digital mess known as "Sweet Insanity". However, one can't help but feel that the tunes on "Brian Wilson" were better even if the production was cold and digital and the lyrics were maudlin. "That Lucky Old Sun" has many great moments, but is not as accessible. Perhaps accessibility is not the point. Van Dyke Parks rates many high marks and annotative adjectives, but "accessible" is not the first word one associates with him. Nevertheless, the working combo of Brian and Van Dyke (and in this instance, Scott Bennett) should be encouraged. One thing that seems to be missing from this LP is Brian's penchant for surprising, emotionally-charged chord changes (think "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)"). Notwithstanding, a four-star Brian Wilson album is worth purchasing. It's definitely better than "Imagination" or "Gettin' In Over My Head". It's leagues above "Sweet Insanity"....more info
  • Overwhelmingly beautiful
    Forget five stars - 'That Lucky Old Sun' deserves ten stars and beyond.

    Just listen to it & you'll see what I mean.

    I don't really want to hype it too much - let it be your own discovery.

    But if you can listen to Brian's new music & after a couple of times through you're not in tears... well, consider having that old ticker checked, & make sure your heart's still beating.

    It's that crushingly beautiful and emotional.

    Like Bob Dylan, Brian in his 60's has somehow rediscovered the sources of his talent and creativity. He's back at the peak of his game, back at the level of Pet Sounds and Smile. If you know how great those albums are, you know what that means.

    Here's the report from daily life: I took my daughter, age 7, to hear Brian at the Hollywood Bowl on September 12th, maybe the most magical evening of music, maybe the best concert I've ever heard. His musicians are fabulous, far better than the Beach Boys ever were - they sang "Our Prayer" live onstage, in perfect tune, six part harmony, something I never thought I'd live to hear, and a knockout version of "Heroes and Villains" that finally makes sense of that masterpiece the way Brian intended for the original Smile album.

    Since then my daughter won't stop playing TSOL, in the car, at home, morning and night - she just wants to hear it again and again. "It kind of makes me cry," she says.

    So you can say lot of things about Brian and 'That Lucky Old Sun' - Brian is the musical poet of our time, the voice of our generation.

    You can say a lot of things. All I know is, my kid won't stop listening to the new album and I can't either.

    Peace & love to all, and thank you, Brian.


    (written by a friend of Brian's long ago, & co-writer of his bootlegged song "Stevie", a tribute to Stevie Nicks)

    ...more info
  • Hats off to Brian
    Kudos to Brian Wilson for a terrific follow-up to Smile. It isn't as good as Smile but it wasn't 30+ years in the making with classic songs like Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villians, Surfs Up that just can't be topped by anyone.

    That being said, I think it is more ambitious than anything any of his contemporaries are doing these days (I do love Ray Davies Workingman's Cafe). There is so much boring music on the radio these days and at the core of so much of it is simply boring songs that all sound the same (no melody writing at all). The writing here is original and memorable especially on the stronger songs.

    This is a fully realized concept piece like Smile with personal lyrics reflecting on personal struggles over several decades. It isn't depressing at all but bright and life affirming. The arrangements, performances and harmonies are great. BTW his band is super and should be seen live if at all possible.

    The song Southern California is a thing of beauty along with Midnight's Another Day. I like the spoken word interludes and think they add to the piece but I can see if someone wouldn't. The only throwaway on the album is Mexican Girl.

    Thanks Brian for touching my heart again!


    ...more info
  • Not his best, but worth listening to
    Allow me to start with a little truth: I was going to give this CD three stars. I'd been impressed with Orange Crate Art, a Wilson masterpiece with musical and lyrical subtlties that indicated a new level of creativity. I saw this CD in a store someplace, and was impressed with all the raving on the package: "This is the best thing since sliced bread." So I asked my spouse for it.

    Then, shortly before Christmas, I listened to it. It sounded a lot--too much frankly--like old Beach Boys. Mind you, the Beach Boys were a creative force to acknowledge. I'm of the school that harmony is the element of music that makes it beyond art; it's the classic example of two (or more) voices being so much more than just the number of voices--more than "the sum of its parts." It's like an experience of heaven. And the Beach Boys, fathered by Brian (and a takeoff from the Four Freshman, another early vocal phenomenon) made an institution of that fine, fine harmony. But, again, Brian seemed to be going in a creative direction over the last few years, and I found the Beach Boys recollection to be a little tiring. Then I put the CD in player in my car. The music--the harmony, the narrative, the lyrics--surrounded me and pulled me in. Yep, this is four-star material.

    As to the lyrics, I almost tired of hearing so much about California. In one tune, he mentions Los Feliz, which I remembered from my favorite episode of The Outer Limits. (!) But some of Brian's lyrics seemed to address the nostagia portion, i.e., to be young again. (Now that I'm looking for those lyrics in the text that came with the CD, I can't find them. But I seemed to hear them while in my car!)

    And I suppose what better to write on than that with which your'e familiar, in Bri's case, Southern Cal!

    I have mixed feelings on the cardboard case in which the CD came. There's an enclosure which includes the lyrics, but such packaging I'm just not used to yet. The little pictures inside the folder don't seem significant of all that much.

    In short, the music is great, the lyrics fun, the harmony bordering on heavenly. There's a little less musical--or lyrical--creativity that I expected after Orange Crate Art, but I'll survive it. If you didn't like the Beach Boys, you're probably not a Brian fan anyway and you probably won't like this. If you liked the Beach Boys and want to hear something of a similar genre, then this is the CD for you. If, however, you were expecting something a little different, a little more creative (for lack of a better expression), then this may be a little of a letdown.

    I do hope Brian keeps producing. Who knows, maybe it was Van Dyke Parks who pushed him in the creative direction in the other CD I mentioned. If that's the case, I hope they team up again! ...more info
  • Just OK
    Big fan of Brian Wilson and especially The Wondermints, but I have to say I am not impressed with this CD - there's nothing new; its the same old stuff. The production of the CD was excellent I just wish the songs were of the same caliber. I gave it a few listens thinking it would grow on me but it did not. ...more info
  • Disappointing
    I've been a loyal fan of the Beach Boys from their earliest days, and I place Brian Wilson high atop my list of all-time great musicians. In July 08 I paid big bucks and traveled many miles to see Brian perform live, and it was a tremendous thrill. I purchased THAT LUCKY OLD SUN with great expectations and am saddened to report that I'm very disappointed. The beautiful, surprising melodies and harmonies of the old days are gone. In their place are trite, predictable rock 'n roll songs with standard progressions spiffed up by occasional 4-part singing and corny orchestrations. This is a concept album about the many facets of life in southern California and L.A. in particular. The songs are linked and introduced by "narratives" by Van Dyke Parks, recited by Brian in a childlike, sing-song way. As far as California concept albums, Van Dyke and Brian did this already, very successfully, with ORANGE CRATE ART, a woefully underappreciated gem. The narratives in THAT LUCKY OLD SUN are not Parks' best work, and do nothing to improve the songs in between.

    However, there are a couple of songs that stand out. One is "Live Let Live," about the destructive influence of human beings on the environment. As environmental anthems go, it's not as powerful as Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blue," but the hook has great poignancy: Live, let live, not die.

    The other song that deserves a mention is "Midnight's Another Day," a companion piece of sorts to Brian's "Til I Die" from SURF'S UP, in which he describes his daily struggle just to be: "all these voices/all these memories/make me feel like stone...all these people/make me feel so alone." Here there are glimmers of Brian's great gift as a composer to evoke strong, clear emotional states through music. It may not be worth the price of the whole CD, but it's well worth it to download "Midnight's Another Day" and hear it as a last, great example of the large legacy Brian Wilson has left us through his charmed, troubled, cursed and blessed life. The fact that LUCKY OLD SUN is not a masterpiece does nothing to diminish my respect for Brian. It simply reminds me that unlike the sun, even geniuses can burn out.
    ...more info
  • Embarrassing Schlock
    After listening to this cd(thank god I didn't buy it)I'm convinced that there are some people that will buy anything that a former great musician slaps together. This cd is schlock. Better yet garbage. O.K. Brian , you were once one of the most influential people in the music business and created some of the best , most enduring music I've ever listened to. But PLEASE, hang it up already. ...more info
  • We would never have believed it could happen

    I have been a Beachboy fan since 1962. I saw the group in the mid 60s at the Academy of Music in New York and followed their career throughout the last 5 decades. When Brian Wilson started recording on his own, I was fortunate to see him during his first concert tour in Ann Arbor Michigan in 2000. I was blown away by his new band and their ability to support him to present some of his best, but infrequently performed songs. Then came SMILE, the album we had waited to hear for 4 decades, and it was truly a monumental work. But Lucky Old Sun is a fantastic surprise. Who would have expected Brian to be able to do this after all he has been through. Thank you Scott, Van Dyke and all the members of the band for supporting him so that he could give us this thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring piece of music. A great insight into Brian's life, with sadness and ennui, but also with uplifting tunes and plain great pop. Thank you Brian and all your colleagues for this wonderful love letter to Los Angeles....more info
  • Continuing the Brian Wilson saga.............
    Lucky Old Sun is a logical follow up to the mega project that Smile was. It is better than I had expected (based on the string of recordings that preceeded Smile). This recording doesn't take itself too seriously yet rays of brilliance and that feel good BW magic shines through to give the ear some tasty candy indeed. The songs are all embedded with Wilson's Beach Boy/Californa blend that to much of us is pretty much irresistible. Brian's orchestration of the material (instrumentation, vocals) is simply impeccable. The harmonies are as close to being as good as original Beach Boys as you could hope for. Just about every song is the kind you can listen to multiple times(just skip the short narratives, maybe). Although it's not the same caliber as Pet Sounds it does approach some of the stellar qualities of Smile in my opinion. The big question now is what will he do next? Whatever it is it's something we can look forward to....more info
  • Amazing CD
    Honestly, I think this is the best Brian Wilson solo CD. Although I loved his CD w/ 'Love & Mercy' and Smile, I think this one track by track is stronger. He is truly inspiring w/ everything he's dealt w/ in his life and this CD is a look back to his life and a tribute to his home. My favorite is 'Oxygen to the Brain.' I think he may be doing his finest work right now and God Bless him for being a survivor.

    ...more info
  • 3.5 Stars... Yet another addition to Wilson's burst of energy
    It is amazing to see how Brian Wilson, after such a long slump and outright inactivity spanning almost 3 decades, now keeps coming back with new album after new album. This is, if I'm not mistaken, his 6th album in the last 10 years. Wilson's pinnacle moment in this latter day period is of course the restoration of the "SMILE" album, which was an amazing feat, period. Now comes the new album.

    "That Lucky Old Sun" (17 tracks; 38 min.) brings an ode and a collage of songs dedicated to "Life in Southern California". The first 16 tracks play non-stop, segueing one into another, even with a couple of spoken intermissions. After introducing the lead tracks and theme of the album, "That Lucky Old Sun" (all 49 seconds of it), the album delves right into the first proper song, "Morning Beat", and the spirit of the Beach Boys of yesteryear is not far behind. Van Dyke Parks contributes on several songs. In several tunes, Wilson gets quite personal, with lines like "I cried a million tears/I wasted a lot years/Life was so dead" (in "Oxygen to The Brain"). But I find that too many songs play like a Broadway play-in-waiting (such as that "Oxygen to the Brain"). That said, the very last song, "Southern California" (at 5 min, by far the longest track on here), is a beauty to behold.

    In all, this is not a bad album for sure, but it feels a bit too much Broadway-like, and not Brian Wilson at his peak. But I say that very easily of course, sitting behind my computer. The fact that Brian Wilson is out there these days, recording and touring, is a gift to all of us, let there be no doubt about it. ...more info
  • REVIEWERS BEWARE
    It's amazing all the people who come on here and have complaints about Brian Wilson's new record. Arm chair quarterbacks, these reviewers. Sitting there listening, picking out things they don't like, playing like they have a credible opinion. Well, you dudes who have complaints, why dno't you record something better and shut me up? What, you writing the 2 star review, you think you can do that well at 65?...more info
  • Awful, Awful, Awful And Even Worse!
    Please Brian, give it a rest. How can someone who created masterpieces such as Surf's Up, God Only Knows, Love & Mercy and so much more put out an album as bad as That Lucky Old Sun. Not only has Brian's voice failed him, but his entire sense of vocal harmony and production have completely escaped him. This has got to be the absolute worst dribble ever to appear under a Beach Boy or Brian Wilson moniker, (Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue comes pretty close). Brian if you can no longer sing, why don't you concentrate on songwriting and production? These have always been your claim to genius. Anything has got to be better than this trash....more info
  • Brian will ALWAYS "call the shots around here"!!
    That line from "Your Imagination" brought me to tears the first time I heard it. It's been written that Brian Wilson invented California. And hearing him sing these new songs makes me wonder if he has any idea of just how much he's influenced the rest of the world's vision of the Golden State. I'm sure many professional reviewers are going to lambaste Brian for some of the lyrics, especially "Mexican Girl". But Brian Wilson has achieved permanent stature in history along side the likes of Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. He is first a composer/arranger, and lyrics for Brian are simply innocent expressions....icing on a well-layered cake. Brian has been independently wealthy since his early 20's, so he can damn well do what he wants to musically. Capitol studios is one of the finest recording facilities in the world, and the sound on this CD is magnificent. It is obviously an all-digital recording, lacking some of the real bottom end and warmth you get using magnetic tape. But the tracks are beautifully produced with alot of "air", and you can hear the room sound that so many Capitol recordings are famous for. The accompanying DVD of the actual recording sessions is worth the price of this package alone. We see the master, leading his flock (the most talented group of people on the planet), in total control of the studio and the sound, and best of all, smiling....more info
  • Great work by Brian, Scott, band, V.D.Parks and Capitol
    It is a very good album. A variety of songs with excellent mix of melodies and rhythms, instrumentation, harmonies and a great sound. Rock and Roll songs as Morning Beat and Going Home (excellent one), romatic and deep emotional as Forever she'll Be My Surfer Girl, Midnight's Another Day(Excellent), Southern California and the enviromental (about wales), Live Let Live. One song flows into another bridged by the narratives, the melody of TLOS or Maumamayama Glory Hallelujah Chant. It ends with a feeling of I want more, with a fading TLOS melody. I get the impression that this cd was recorded with the intention of playing it Live. Those who attended the TLOS premier in London got the best. A Rock and Roll song that was outstanding during this concert shoud have been recorded and added at the end, "Johnny B. Goode". Because of Brian fragile vocals (definetly listen to Pet Sounds to know the difference), I give it 4 stars, though harmonies are excellent. Have listened to it everyday since I got it on Sept. 8......more info
  • Let the Sun Shine!
    In a word, awesome.

    While some may roll their eyes at yet another hack calling Brian Wilson a genius, I defy anyone to listen to this album and not agree. The ability to create such subtle beauty and depth in the songs are hard for me to comprehend.

    The fact that the album is basically an autobiographical review of his life and times makes it all the more special and 'real.'

    If you aren't totally immersed after the 3rd listen, you might want to check your pulse.

    Buy this album and let the Sun shine!

    --- Dr. Strat...more info
  • Very Nice
    A solid effort from Brian. This album is an enjoyable listen from start to finish. It includes several excellent tracks (Good Kinda Love, Live Let Live, Southern California), and one all time classic: Midnight's Another Day. This song ranks right up there with Brian's best, like Surf's Up and God Only Knows....more info
  • Another masterpiece by Brian
    So, today I finally got my grubby hands on it.

    After all the talk about it, I was expecting the mastering to be horrible, instead it's just as bad as in all the other Cds in creation (yes, including classical music, and believe me as I have quite a lot of them). That means that if you are accustomed to that kind of sound as you probably are by now, it won't trouble you.

    In any case, actually opening a package, putting a physical disc into a slot and pressing PLAY feels so much better than listening to streams!

    As for TLOS itself... I already knew the piece from said streams, but my first Cd listen has been actually better than I had expected. I don't know (nor care) how it compares to Pet Sounds and SMiLE... but the simple fact that it's COMPARABLE to them is an absolute miracle.

    TLOS has "genius" stamped everywhere....more info
  • This is a masterpiece...Such Positive Music
    I am a big fan of music...all kinds. I had not listened to a beach boy album since 20+ years ago. I always thought they were okay...had some exceptional songs like "good vibrations' , "in my room" & "god only knows" ...I'm sure there are more.....BUT
    I put this CD in my car stereo & headed to work one day & BOOM ...my god ...this guy is a genius.
    Taking the cues from the sun rising & starting the day. This is the most positive , well written , groovin music with angelic harmonies.
    I also got SMiLE...I like SMiLE a lot...but this CD in my mind is a masterpiece & is just a lovely backdrop on a sunny day. I guess it might help if you've been to LA & seen the capitol tower, gone to venice beach & stuff like that.
    The best part of it is it sounds like Brian Wilson is happy, positive & his voice is so so so GOOD! Good Vibrations all around! Way to go Brian! Incredible.Songwriting at it's best. WOW. This is better than SMiLE. Such a solid CD. ...more info
  • A Disney musical????
    Brian Wilson is without question a pop musical genius. I throughly enjoyed '.Imagination' and 1988's 'Brian Wilson'and even found some redeeming qualities in 'Gettin' in Over My Head'. In my book, his genius can only be matched with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Lennon/McCartney.

    However, this collection of songs comes across as the theme music to a Disney attraction and an annoying one at that. While listening to this CD at work I found myself turning down my computer hoping I wouldn't irritate my fellow co-workers and risk losing my standing among them as a music 'Guru'.

    I could look past Brian's 'pitchy' vocals in the past but they've gotten worse over the last few years, usually the songwriting will allow the listener to sustain these tormented vocals. In all actuality, they're a bittersweet reminder of the pain and torment that Brian went through in his earlier years. This time however, not only are the vocals rough but the spoken word portions come across as bad acting from a afternoon soap opera.

    Maybe it's time Brian went in the direction of Carlos Santana and bring outside vocalists to sing his songs.
    ...more info
  • Better the second time around.
    I admit it, I'm a Brian Wilson junky: if he records it I will buy it. That isn't to say that I'm an uncritical listener. In fact, I think a large part of his recent NEW production has been pretty lame. I have really enjoyed his reworking of earlier efforts, notably Pet Sounds and Smile, but "Gettin' In Over My Head" was very forgettable. On first listen so was his new CD. His band is awesome and the production quality quite good, so it never was a bad listen but it wasn't until I'd listened to it a couple of times that some of the subtleties really started to reach me. Now I can say that I genuinely enjoy most of it, though his repeated references to his "former" mental health issues and his recovery are getting a little, well, repetitious. I recommend this CD for BW and BB fans. I wouldn't give it to someone as an introduction to Brian Wilson. ...more info
  • swan song or timepiece
    well i have just listened to That Lucky Old Sun and all i can say is WOW! The songs are marvelous and the flow of the album is superb. Brian has captured his vision of Southern California in beautiful fashion. i feel as if Brian died and went to heaven, only to come back to tell us of his miraculous visit.
    i just recently visited Los Angelos for the first time , perhaps that experience has helped me identify with this album. yes i saw first hand the grime of the city but i also saw the magic. brian only sees the magic and wonder of this fine city.
    i have read some negative reviews on the album. brian does not have the voice of his early beach boy days, but his voice still sound fine. his harmonys and music overlays are vintage- maybe even better. the backup singers far out do any i've heard today.
    like elvis i did not grow to appreciate either he or the beach boys until my later years. in my 50's now i have gone back to older catalogs to re-appreciate the music i shunned as a boy. this album is not the beach boys totally so don't think it is. however, the sheer genius of brian wilson is ever present. i only hope this is a timepiece record as i'm gonna be selfish and hope brian has more left in the tank...more info
  • A Spotty Sun
    I am a great fan of Brian's and was thrilled with his return in the music world. I think he did an exemplary job on Smile and his other live recordings. I am not sure this work really holds up to any of his greats. There is no killer song, no knock-out punch, and ultimately no excitement. I am sorry to say this because I respect this man so much - and I truly love his music. I cannot say in all honesty that this holds up to his peak work. It is interesting - but I will not be playing this that often. I'm glad for his loyal and forgiving fan base - he's done it all. Just one fans view....more info
  • Pleasant but Forgettable
    Let's face it, at age 60-something, Brian Wilson isn't going to break any new musical ground at this point. And he doesn't with his new CD "That Lucky Old Sun". But it's still an enjoyable CD filled with feel-good latter-day Beach Boys music. And there's nothing wrong with that. His voice is in fine form (better than his most recent CDs), his readings are energetic, and the arrangements & playing are typically top-notch. So if you're in the mood for a pleasant, upbeat, almost instantly-forgettable sonic experience, this is the CD for you....more info
  • Must Have? I think so!
    "That Lucky Old Sun" is a visit to the Beach Boys of the 60's. It's not as "today" as "Imagination" or cutting edge as "Smile." (Yes, I know "Smile" is 40-year old material but, in my opinion, it still stands up as a musical breakthrough.)

    You can literally hear the parts written for Dennis, Carl, Mike and Al. "That Lucky Old Sun" takes you back to a simpler, carefree time when hanging out with our friends and developing relationships were more important than meetings, schedules, deadlines and the stock market. This vibe is not without its regret, however, since it brings to mind the tragic loss of Dennis and Carl and the broken relationship with Mike and Al.

    The song writing is everything you have come to expect from Brian Wilson and friends, the musicianship is absolutely incredible and the production is flawless.

    It's not my favorite Brian Wilson, but it is a must have!...more info
  • Beautiful composition, but his voice is gone
    The songs here should be beautiful, but they just aren't. Listening to the album I couldn't help but thinking that it would have been a truly world class album if only he had brought in someone for the lead vocals.

    The sad fact is that while Brian Wilson's songwriting ability is everything it used to be - the songs themselves are as good as Smile - he just doesn't have the voice he used to have and that really hurts the album....more info
  • Lucky Sun by Brian Wilson
    Awesome CD. Brian sounds great and it is a wonderful happy sound from start to finish. A must to have in you CD collection....more info
  • That Lucky Old SONG
    I've always loved the song "That Lucky Old Sun" ever since I heard Paul Williams sing it on his LP Life Goes On. While Brian's version is ok, Paul nails it with his version (perhaps because it was his dads favorite song). Paul puts his heart into his version and it shows. If anyone wants to hear a heartfelt version of this song, check out Paul's on his 1970's LP "Live Goes On". My favorite heartfelt song by Brian Wilson is "God Only Knows". No one does it better. ...more info
  • Listening to That Lucky Old Sun made me fall in love with Southern California all over again!
    A love letter to L.A. That's what Rolling Stone called this CD in a review...and after listening to it several times, I can certainly see why they'd say that. While some may scoff and call that corny, I find it facinating and utterly charming that Brian Wilson, a 66 year old native Angeleno is clearly still very much in love with his hometown. Despite his own personal trials, he's not allowed himself to become jaded like so many living in Southern California, and that's why he's still able to work his songwriting magic and create that very special kind of vibrant, energetic, whimsical, inspiring and absolutely enjoyable daydream enabling music that could make the most world-weary and embittered L.A. resident (or wannabee resident) fall in love with their city once again!

    One of the songs on this CD "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl", has a very interesting lyric "First Love/ is the moment /you can't repeat /but you'll always own it...." and own it, Brian Wilson does and he seems to be encouraging us the listeners to do the same. I know most of the songs definitely appeal to this former Midwesterner/California dreamer and listening to them makes me want to go back to Southern California for yet another visit or maybe back to live there again!

    With the exception of "Can't Wait Too Long" and "Midnight's Another Day" the songs are upbeat in tempo. Any aspiring actors or musicians will totally identify with the lyrics in the song "California Role" all too well. The song "Morning Beat" brings back memories of the days of the Boomer's youth when AM Radio was still king, and while listening to this song, you can just see yourself cranking up your favorite tunes in your convertible car while zipping down one of the California freeway such as the PCH with the sun high in the sky and the wind at your back! I dig the starting "mantra" of this song..."maumamayama glory hallelujah." It seems like one should be doing the yoga sun salutation to that part lol.

    Live Let Live is real nice, too. I like the start of the song and how it's so reminiscent of the old school R&B songs ala Smokey Robinson and the Miracles "ooh baby baby." Great message about the importance of protecting the whales, too. The "tribute" song "Mexican Girl" may be viewed by some as politically incorrect, but I still like it anyway. It's a pretty catchy tune that's fun to listen to...and I also like that you can have a Beach Boys kind of song that's doesn't imply that California is some lily-white "surfburbia" from Ventura to the Border. Now if only Brian would write one for us sistahs hahaha

    While I definitely enjoyed the "feel-good" lyrics in the more upbeat songs, I also appreciated the honesty in the lyrics of "Midnight's Another Day" where he describes the downs in his life...and the way he describes how he found his way back to functionality and then went on to being the creative songwriting genious we know Brian to be. In the song "Oxygen To The Brain", Brian puts it very well. "never destroy when you can create." I found that an inspiration.

    In addition to the songs, one of the things about That Lucky Old Sun that really appealed to me was the four narratives interspersed in the songs. Who would've thought Brian Wilson would be into spoken word poetry? Pretty unique. I thought it was really cool the way the poetry tied all the songs together.

    As of right now, I don't have a single clear cut favorite track yet. To me, this CD is very much like one of those yummy breakfast fruit-yogurt-granola parfaits so popular in L.A. restaurants these days....an appealing combination of smooth, crunchy, tart, sweet and all soooo good for you! Each layer of this "aural parfait" has a unique flavor that enhances the other flavors, and makes it tastier and tastier with each listening. I'd say the best way to fully appreciate this CD is to make the time to listen to it without interruptions, and then listen to it in its entirety and in the EXACT order of song list. At least for the first listening. You'll find it definitely enhances the entire experience that is That Lucky Old Sun....more info
  • Brian belts one out of the park...
    For those of us who have witnessed the sickening decline of rock music over the last three decades or so, here's a tonic. Brian's at the top of his form after all these years, so don't miss this album. Buy it now. Seriously. ...more info
  • UNBELIEVEABLE
    The best of 2008 so far. And I know that some (or most) of you will not agree, but this one's better than SMILE. Brian's at the top of his game. Long live for the master!...more info
  • brian wilson = musical genius
    after listening to "that lucky old sun" for the 5th or 6th time, i realized that this is a masterwork.
    it is every bit as great as "pet sounds" and "smile."
    "oxygen to the brain" is currently my favorite cut, but,in truth, there isn't a bad song on the album.
    btw, brian's current back-up band, which includes members of the very underrated "the wondermints", imo, is better than his original 'beachboys.'
    a truly marvelous recording that i rank right up with the 'fleet foxes' self-titled masterpiece, as the two best releases of 2008.

    p.s., if you love this cd as much as i do, please check out the dvd version, which includes the live concert and a wonderful documentary on brian and the creation of this excellent music.also, there is a brief interview with robin pecknold, singer/writer for the "fleet foxes."...more info
  • THAT LUCKY OLD SUN
    IT IS SO GOOD TO HEAR HIM AGAIN AFTER SO MANY YEARS,
    HE SOUNDS GREAT. I KNEW HIM IN THE 60'S IN LA JOLLA,
    CALIFORNIA AND HE SOUNDS THE SAME. YEA HE STILL IS A
    GENIOUS AT WRITING....more info

 

 
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