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MaryNYS

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all,

I was able to listen to the Deluxe No Pier Pressure CD this morning on my CD Walkman.  What a masterpiece!!!  It was a great move to start the CD with the song This Beautiful Day.  Each song is unique.  The Right Time is fabuolous!!!  Wouldn't it be great to be On The Island??  I like the fact that Brian did as his children suggested and asked the younger singers to be on the alubm with him.  I enjyed the soothing Song Don't Worry.  Sail Away and One Kind of Love were both maginficent!!!  Saturday Night with Nate Ruess was great.  Each song was a gift to the fans.  The instrumental song was well done.  I'm Feeling Sad was moving.  Al gives us another gift by singing Tell Me Why.  David sings well on the songs he sings also.  Somewhere Quiet is great.  Same with Guess You Had To Be There.  I loved Runaway Dancer.  Our Speical Love was great.  Half Moon Bay wow!!!  The Last Song was good.  The title could mean anything.  It could mean the end of a romance or a relationship.  I am glad that I bought the CD with the two bonus tracks.  Al's voice is still excllent after a lot of years.  Brian sings excellent.  What awesome talent!!!  No Pier Pressure is a gift form Brian to us.  Well Done!!!  Amazing!!!  Thank you Brian!!!   I feel as though I have received a hallmark greeting card from Brian after listening to NPP.  That includes the credits and the thank yous.  

Happy Listening All!!!




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Deb#1

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Reply with quote  #2 
I thought I was the only one who still has a CD Walkman.  It's good to know I am in good company.  This is a nice write-up, too.  Thanks, Mary. I love your positive attitude. [smile]
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kds

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Reply with quote  #3 
Nice review.  

It's supposed to be a nice weekend in my neck of the woods.  So, I'll probably fire up the grill, and sit outside with a drink in my hand (drink in my hand) and NPP in the background.  
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Verden McCutcheon

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Reply with quote  #4 
Very nice and enthusiastic review Mary.Should have my copy soon !
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B.D. Ponce IV

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Reply with quote  #5 

AH-AUM- BOP - DIG IT !!!!! ... Thanks so much for this Brian Wilson and Co.
                                                             I recently purchased the 16 song *vinyl.
              *Turns out there was a blemish over The Last Song on side 3 which produced a consistent ticking sound that began about ten seconds into the song and played for most of what followed. My record vendor advised me to let him do some research before I obtain another copy. Luckily he let me keep the download so I don't have to suffer withdrawal.
               Any how, I am so thrilled...Because No Pier Pressure is Art...
The dynamics are more more aligned with Pet Sounds.  No Pier Pressure has a production style that feels complete and self-confident. The timbre of the arrangements matches Brian's voice very well.
             For example the low-mid range is warm and supportive of the higher registers enabling them to blend naturally on top without sounding over-processed. The imaging is there when you want it but is otherwise seamless. It is consistent in this way similar to the Re Imagines Gershwin album. It has a warm groove which lets me hear whats going on in the mix quite comfortably.
I am also pleased that nothing sounds rushed or patchy. No Pier Pressure is a consistent effort which builds on the strengths of That's Why God Made The Radio.
==============================================================
Having support from Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin is kind of miraculous. I think!
             Not to mention the well-seasoned sidemen such as Dean Parks, Jeff Foskett, Don Was, Jim Keltner, & The Wondermints. Plus the talented technical staff known and unknown.
            Joe Thomas - Who as co- writer/producer must obviously share a considerable amount of responsibility for the outcome of this project. He has worked with Brian for some time. People say he puts too much autotune, is too conventional or formula oriented. I would feel bad if I thought that Brian had no say in this but I do not think that is the case. People criticize Joe Thomas' role because they are not sure who he really is as an artist. We don't have any of his solo material. I would say that his skills are required to some degree for sure.  Brian seems comfortable with him. I suspend my judgement until I know what I really think.
          Al really knows how to interpret these songs to the nth degree and has a great singing voice.
           David's guitar is kind of like a voice and I'm just starting to recognize how he fits in to the sound-scope of these new songs! He plays tastefully clean licks,has a technical approach that sounds musically coherent & uniquely stylized. Plus, he sings as well.
           Blondie is a great vocalist  whose emotionally direct  delivery is punctuated by his grounded and genuinely soulful voice. His playing on the guitar is smooth and  understated!
         These guys really know how to rock and roll. They are beach boys after all.
Good on them for showing up - *****

        The Songs and the help from younger guest vocalists are very different from one another - If you asked (even!) me if Brian wrote half of these songs in some cases I might hesitate to answer yes - and yet upon repeated listening this becomes fathomable!

This Beautiful Day :- Album Theme which could be placed at the end as well. It is like the mantra of the composer as he tries to convey his feelings through his song. The consciousness of a real human being not an empty hit machine. He spells it out for us - our feelings are like the beauty in our world - ephemeral. So we have to really try to hold on to the good parts...
Runaway Dancer :- o.k. then so feel the pulse, feel the tempo. Then dip into your baritone and raise the vibration! Go deep in order to get it right ... it's the talk if the town... as if... she don't care? Check that -I guess that sounds like a way in -plausible...? Sebu Simonian sounds good. Seriously I don't mind that this track is different .It simply is... Lounge - Soul. Here Today in the 21st Century! 
Whatever Happened: - Four Freshmen travel through time. That's my guess - A reflective and lucid number about growing older and wiser. From a great guy who has been touring for the last 15+? years regularly. A sweet song with which to chill.
On The Island: - its all true. Great floating rhythm section in the verse. Is this where I want to sail away ? Sounds like an alternative scene. O.k. so i'm jealous. I like the musical space in this. Zooey Deschanel's vocal is throaty and bubbly and Brian's Vocal is like a sweet light breeze. Could this be paradise?  Not quite - but it's just fine.
Half Moon Bay: The sounds of the Island winding up and winding down and winding up again, The guitar slide seems to mimic the words "on the island". While other sections brush the backdrop in a textured & ethereally layered way.The choir adds a lot like sunlight from a tiny window above. The feeling reminds me in places of After The Game!
Mark Isham sounds at home here. After becoming familiar with his playing over the last few decades especially on the first four Tanita Tikaram albums( who in my opinion could have been the replacement for Lana Del Ray; Or better yet they might have considered her first).Anyhow, Mark Isham's inclusion in this project only makes me feel more bonded with Brian's choices of interpreters for his new music.  
Our Special Love: Solid Intro. Great vocal empathy. Peter Hollens has a George Michael thing going on there. Plus I hear an Anggun( I like certain exotic female vocalists too !) vocal harmony that is really cool. Love the harmonic spectrum on this cut. It is unusual that the wording seems to suggest you could remove the negative ("can't ...be found") and sing it positive ("can.. be found"). An original and thoughtful touch if this was intentional. Brian's delivery is spot on here. Really the kind of phrasing he knows how to nail.
Another Double-sided single could be Saturday Night B/W Our Special Love.
The Right Time:- Time to sing along! Great harmonies - a part for everyone! An expressive song for sure. Al holds back just a tiny bit. Do we know why? (Does he have his falsies on?) If we watch the video it all makes sense. Lyrically they show compassion for the listener. Like when -Brian rightly chimes in "but Not this time".

           Just think, was Pet Sounds a big hit when it came out? They always say it wasn't. Why? Because it was ahead of it's time. After No Pier Pressure you won't have to look to Pet Sounds for all the answers. Some may be found here. For those who look for hit metaphors; Pet Sounds was an " in the park home run with the bases loaded". So if No Pier Pressure doesn't get the attention it deserves you gotta know a whole new generation of fans will be very likely to embrace it! Someone had to build a bigger ballpark after Pet Sounds didn't they? The real question was who? And how soon?

Guess You Had To Be There: is fun and will hit on certain country pop stations of the southern persuasion. People tuning in at work will be able to enjoy this I bet. Personally I think the bass line is what moves this song forward. A fine production with Kacey Musgraves giving it her all and sounding consistently bright and in time. Single material for sure.
Don't Worry: - The best advice from one of the best. Good workout/ running music. A chance to hear Brian's natural singing voice as it digs in to something new. A direct Brian Hit. 
Somewhere Quiet: An honest attempt at honesty. I do like the message and the simplicity... I will enjoy giving this a chance to sync- in. Some things take time.
I'm Feeling Sad: This one has a part that sounds similar to Kiss Me, Baby . It also emits a very characteristically Solo Brian vibe as I understand it be. This is a personal song where he addresses inner growth from a position of happenstance. An important song here no doubt. Powerful in a subtle way. It has a vulnerable sensibility which honestly demands attention . I like how he leaves the chord suspended on top at the end and you don't need to hear the resolve. A feminine progression according to some folks.
Tell Me Why: - Very emotional - A torpor of loneliness. Leaves via  a Pet Sounds' filled out searching quality. Someone waiting for a loved one to return. Frustrated longing. Waiting for understanding to bring someone back.
Sail Away: - The Feel Good # 1 of the Summer! This song is for everybody! No matter how isolated from your dreams you may have become this song is going to  help you remember them. This is the Art. Just wait and see.
The kind of gem that could have suffered from the drugs and band politics of the past.
Glad to hear that this ship made it safely to her distant shore.
The melody cadences are like waves!
Totally - BRIlliANt !!! Lovely key change!
An important and poetically charming narrative that suits Blondie,Brian,Al and Matt ( and whoever else may be in the mix - David? ) very nicely. Plus they sound like they are truly enjoying themselves. Playing together in a band making Great new music once again.
Should really be the big #1.
The Beach Boys (Mike and Bruce and John) should also really consider playing it live.
One Kind of Love: - Music of love. The Only Love. The composer seems to ask the arranger/orchestra here for something. They get it right! ... Right?
How would I name that chord change( "di-tion-al" ) G#aug - Fm6- Bb = Maybe, because we didn't like it when he hit the note Eb in the G#chord (Oh it's a revelation ...F7) earlier in the second part of the verse. So knowing that is mended in the chorus patches things up as unconditional love so oft is apt to do. Wish I could hear the demo for this one. 
Saturday Night :- Nate Reuss projects a lot of feeling. This is contagious and obviously helps the chemistry so that when Brian comes in his sense of humor and delivery is poised and ready for the studio gymnastics at the end. A tribute to home this time being Hollywood Blvd. "Back in the corner is our favorite table". Speaks volumes. 
The Last Song - Has  a great simplicity and pure and clear vocal performance and production... The Pet Sounds quality shows up here for me again. Since somebody mentioned John Lennon . I'll say maybe the white piano has something to do with it. This version has a soothing quality which brings to mind healing waters.        
          In closing I will say that Brian Wilson may not fulfill your expectations every time. Yet in actuality he will continue to do so. It's just that you haven't realized it yet. He is always composing something. 

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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #6 
Great review, B.D. I love your closing sentences: "... Brian Wilson may not fulfill your expectations every time. Yet in actuality he will continue to do so. It's just that you haven't realized it yet. He is always composing something."
He is. I think he has hundreds of unreleased songs.
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #7 
Mary, thank you for starting this wonderful thread!

[smile]

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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #8 
Seconded... thank you Mary! [smile]
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skootz

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Reply with quote  #9 
Brian has long since passed the point where he can do whatever the hell he WANTS to do...I suspect that, like McCartney perhaps, Brian can't NOT make Music--bad grammar I know...if he wants to be adventurous let him...if he wants to "rock out", let him...if he wants to be mellow, let him...having only heard  snippets of the album, I can't comment on it all that much...and I won't...we all must remember that in Art there are no rules...and no Artist is ever gonna please everybody...For ME mellow is OK, but "slick" and "syrupy" not so much...and all three of those adjectives are subjective...that's important to keep in mind...today is payday, I hope to have the album by Sunday...FULL DISCLOSURE--I haven't followed Brian as closely as most of the people here (it's a financial thing mostly) but I always ALWAYS stand up for him (not that he needs MY help) when people put him down or say he no longer matters...as long as he's breathing, he will probably be creating new Music...I may not always...LIKE it, but that doesn't doesn't matter too much either...I like a LOT of what he has done and if he wanted to stop altogether, that's OK too...I hope he doesn't feel as though he HAS to keep making Music, but if he wants to, I say let him...
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #10 
Brian often says in interviews that he spends a couple of hours every day at the piano, that he needs to do this.  More than anything, I believe that is why this album is here,  Like many others have said in other threads, he has lots of music still to share.

  

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sweeper

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Reply with quote  #11 
Can't help thinkin' that Sail Away would have been the perfect Beach Boys song - and single - for their follow up to TWGMTR if not someone had - well, you know what I mean.

Not that it is not a great song on NPP. It is in my eyes/ears the best of the whole album.
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Cantina Margarita

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hey B. D. Ponce,

not that I wanna make myself important here - I see the same reference to John Lennon's Imagine album as you do, and I mentioned it before, in a thread similar to this one:

http://brianwilson.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=7362529

My post in it is #40.

I only want to express here how right you are.

I like this thread which fishes the album discussion up to the surface again, and I call that absolutely necessary. Maybe it's interesting for you to read up a bit in the theme I've been linking to above. Sophisticated single-song-evaluations, too, uhmmmmm ... more or less.
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kds

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Reply with quote  #13 
B.D.

I couldn't agree more about Sail Away.  In a perfect world, Sail Away would become THE song for the Summer of 2015.  (We all know some Top 40 earworm will take that honor).  

The album gets better with each listen, but Sail Away definitely stands out.  
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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #14 
"Sail Away", the great summer song by "Holland", the new group formed by Brian Wilson, Al & Matt Jardine, Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar. [smile]
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kds

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Reply with quote  #15 
Thorgil,

That's a heck of an idea for a group.  Especially if they perform Holland from start to finish on tour.  
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