Brian Wilson’s songwriting career may have many spectacular moments, but it also has an almost equal amount of half-baked ones, including on his latest album “No Pier Pressure.”
While the songs don't feature Wilson at his “A” game, the album is a refreshingly light listen—at least the first time around. With each listen the instrumentals feel increasingly ineffective and sparse in the worst possible way. The vocals too begin to feel worthless, with only a handful still holding up by the sixth go round.
With this said, the album certainly has its highlights. Some tracks feature fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin. A highlight of this collaboration is "Sail Away," which is basically a retread of "Sloop B John" with soulful vocals by Chaplin. There are some other decent guest vocals, but nothing great.
Although Wilson was behind some of the greatest pop music of all time, he isn't the same man that wrote "Surf's Up.” Yet, Wilson is still intriguing. Even though the album is incredibly disappointing, there are still some songs worth checking out. Just don't get too attached with whether the album could have been part of a series of great varied works.