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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #46 
It is funny how personal taste can be so embarrassing, isn't it?  Thus, "guilty pleasures."

Enya - "hell, yeah!" when the time is right - and she's a huge Brian fan.  Is she "airy-fairy" - most certainly - and what might fit the mood and the need at a particular time. 

I mean, nobody could write a hook like Benny Anderson of ABBA, but no one wants to admit that they like them.  Again - huge Brian fans - Bjorn and Benny...Actually, some of their later stuff was pretty sophisticated.  Brian really liked the "Su-pa-pa, Troop-pa-pa" thing at the beginning of "Super Trooper", as one might objectively realize that he would - and he loved "Thank You for the Music" - a truly inspired song.  

I will also admit that when some of those songs get into my head, I want to shoot myself to make the repetition stop.  I wonder what the balance between the hook and the "self-decapitation" response is?  Brian gets it.  I haven't a clue, except in my response.  And no matter what Mike sends his daughter or attorneys out to say, he didn't write "all the hooks" as anyone with an ear can tell.

I've heard Mike's new/(old) Christmas song...Jeez - talk about "cut off your head" repetition.  After his "auto-tune" comment about what might potentially be on NPP (supposedly, he's never heard it), he releases this song that so blatantly uses vocal processing to the point that no one could miss it.  I know the most financially successful people can't be embarrassed.  I guess this would be an example.

NPP is so far beyond the credit it gets.  But Brian is used to that.


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kds

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Reply with quote  #47 
Thorgil,

I do agree with you that NPP has a much better, and less sanitized sound, than the Imagination album.  


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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #48 
"Guilty Pleasures". The things you shouldn't like in theory, but you do in practice. I have a lot of them, as I guess everybody has. Some of them are by the ABBA. [smile]
Enya is a Brian fan? I didn't know it, but hardly surprising.
NPP, in my opinion, has one of the greatest gaps ever between its artistic value and the credit it's getting. Its main problem is that it messes up with the formula, by having a "slick" production, other Beach Boys and young guests, diverse songs and styles, hey presto even a Runaway Dancer. Never mind, it will get its due in time, and in the worst of cases it will become a divisive "cult" like Love You.
About the "slick" production: I'd love to have a Rio Grande produced like NPP. Would be mind-blowing. 
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ray lawlor

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Reply with quote  #49 
I never got all the negativity about NPP. I think it's a great record', well recorded. I really don't get the comparison to Imagination, which is a record I never really cared for from day one. I loved the vocals, really intensely disliked the tracks and the production , and only liked about four or five of the songs on the whole damn thing.. NPP sounds nothing like Imagination . Not the production, not the vocals and not the songs. I didn't like Stars and Stripes either , other than Warmth of the Sun. NPP , for me, sounds great whether I listen over speakers or over headphones. For me, it's a damn good record, with several primo tracks. I also love the fact that Brian has Al and Blondie featured prominently, which is a total departure from any other of his solo records. I think I will put it on today.

Merry Christmas to all
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kds

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Reply with quote  #50 
Thorgil,

Just curious. 

Are you talking about lack of recognition in the mainstream, or among BW/BB fans?  

Lack of recognition in the mainstream doesn't surprise me in the least.  Over the past eight years, Brian has released That Lucky Old Sun, TWGMTR (w/ The Beach Boys), and NPP.  

I love all three albums, but I know in today's music climate that promotes style over substance, these albums won't get a fair shake.  As is the case with many legacy artists, the mainstream will only focus on their glory years while ignoring recent output.  

I will admit I'm a little surprised some of the collaborations with the younger artists on NPP didn't get more of a push by the label.  But, I'm sure they're busy promoting the next big thing.  

I would say, with a couple of exceptions, the reception among BW/BB fans has been very positive.  
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HAL2591

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Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
Today, while listening the umpteenth time to NPP, I got the idea that "The Right Time", with slightly different lyrics, would be a perfect Christmas song.


Yes! Put a few bells/sleigh bells in that mix, slightly different chorus lyrics and you've probably got a Christmas classic.

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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #52 
The album did not get a fair shake when it was released, and even before it was released there were some of these so-called "fans" making stuff up on the fly to find ways why it wouldn't be good. When it was released, some of the again so-called "reviews" were not just full of inaccuracies, but seemed to focus more on the ego of the author and other peripherals so the review read like the author played the first 15 seconds of each track and skipped through the album in 2 minutes rather than truly listening to it as a full work. The album and the music on it were reduced to becoming a catalyst for the reviewer(s) to either get on a soapbox, promote themselves, or grind some kind of an axe instead of tell the readers about the music. That was sickening. And some of those reviews got called out for doing so, which was more than justified. Some fans read reviews and those impressions stick in their minds as they listen to the songs. If that impression was coming from something other than the reviewer doing his or her job, that's pretty sad. And it's unfair to the music, above all.

It's great to have a topic like this, so fans who are actually invested in the music and the artist and who will actually listen to the album as a whole have a chance to discuss it. All that stuff which happened before NPP got released and in the month or so after regarding the reviews and some of the idiotic comments and articles was a travesty. My own opinion.

If there were fans essentially writing off an entire album full of songs which no one outside Capitol records and the people who were in the studio had heard based on a cel phone video of Brian and Zooey tracking vocals in the studio that got posted online, there is no way this album was getting a fair shake. More than the reviews, that was sickening.

Fortunately, there are still some fans who actually care enough to listen with their own ears and form their own opinions.


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HAL2591

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Reply with quote  #53 
Quote:
It's great to have a topic like this, so fans who are actually invested in the music and the artist and who will actually listen to the album as a whole have a chance to discuss it. All that stuff which happened before NPP got released and in the month or so after regarding the reviews and some of the idiotic comments and articles was a travesty.


Absolutely agreed. Didn't Brian release a statement asking "fans" to chill out with the negativity at some point? It was really sad to witness.

I'm glad to see that it's getting a mostly positive reception so long after it's release.

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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #54 
The negativity about NPP was a campaign and it was obvious.  Like I said, the music will rise above the stupidity for everyone, as it already has touched all of us.

Merry Frikkin' Christmas.  We've had a stunning year as Brian's fans.  It will all be appreciated in the end.  I think Brian, after living through hell, gets this already. That's why he's the coolest guy on the touring circuit these days.  Such an amazing gift to us all.
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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #55 
The music is and will always be as good as it was when the album was released, and it will always be there for people willing to listen. The attempts to dismiss it which started prior to listeners even hearing more than 10 seconds of it will disappear on various online reviews, fan forums, and magazines which have mostly faded into the great trash heap of forgotten words and failures already.


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Debbie KL

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Reply with quote  #56 
GF -

It's interesting to be on a message board and reflect on the effects of them.  So here I go probably making an ironic statement about myself:  

We are now in a world where any clown with a fake name can puff up his/her own ego by posting and being on display, get a thrill out of offending people and thereby getting a reaction (which seems to give them a weird sense of power), and not only attack established, respected artist, but also be quoted by a few lazy-assed reviewers - all the while getting the product by stealing it online.  That would be the irony of our time.  And in spite of the 15 second splash on the media, this great music will live on.
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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #57 
Kds, I was talking about lack of recognition in the mainstream. Among fans, I'd agree NPP has been well received overall. Those "fans" who have been most vocal against it did exactly what could be expected from them.
But the "mainstream" reviews... that's hack job on a global scale. One is not forced to like NPP, Heaven forbid, but the "critics" were barely talking of an album they had obviously never really listened to. No, their target was Brian himself, and how the heck this man can still have the cheek of making significant, often great, music when he should have stopped 50 years ago.
Is it not already annoying enough to be forced to pay lip service to Pet Sounds, which they secretly hate as much as they hate NPP?
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Jersey Shore

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Reply with quote  #58 
NPP is great!

"Whatever Happened" (track-wise, vocal-wise, lyric-wise) could have been on Pet Sounds

I wish he'd do "Walkin' the Line", "Melt Away", and "Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long" in concert.

These are forgotten classics as far as I'm concerned. Especially "Melt Away". That one could have been on Pet Sounds, too.
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guitarfool2002

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Reply with quote  #59 
I know I'm repeating myself ad nauseum on this subject, but for those so inclined and those willing to give it a fresh listening...listen to the album for sonic purposes alone. Good speakers, good flat response headphones, whatever is available. Or go to a friend's house who's an audiophile and has all the fancy stuff. Put on NPP. Instead of the normal listening session, listen to it for the sonics of the album, the little details and the way it was recorded and mixed. Zero in on the little details like the way the bass was played and recorded, the percussion details, the guitar tones, the voices, the way certain studio reverbs were applied to various tracks, and the way such a full instrumental backing manages to breath and allow individual details to come through in the mix.

NPP is an audiophile album. It sounds terrific. Don't let the naysayers and the ersatz "critics" suggest otherwise. There are some stellar sonic treats captured in the recording and mixing of this album that are worth more attention.

One tip: Listen to some of the guitar tracks of "The Right Time"...it harkens back to Pet Sounds era guitar ensemble work as heard on "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" and "I Know There's An Answer", where the guitars are playing intertwining single note lines and weaving almost counterpoint melodies in and out of each other to create some interesting textures and harmonies. No wonder...same guy was at the wheel captaining the ship...

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thorgil

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Reply with quote  #60 
Well said, GF. My equipment is no good but even through it NPP sounds crystal clear, every different sound distinctly audible and "present". No small feat, since there are many moments I lose count of the "voices", vocal and instrumental, which can be heard. If this is "slick", give me slick all the time: it's one of the best sounding pop records in my knowledge.
Another thing: no filler, and every song has its own distinctive "personality", yet the album flows.
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