That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Sept. 12, 2008
Brian WilsonThat Lucky Old Sun (Capitol)
"Fell asleep in the band room, woke up in history," muses Brian Wilson on "Southern California," That Lucky Old Sun's final track and the album's attempted encapsulation of that troubled trajectory. Whereas 2004's epic completion of Smile allowed the Beach Boy to rewrite (and right) history, his follow-up plays like the ultimate product of that self-examination. The album wanders wistful and romantic, with touches of regret accentuated by the familiar harmonies and intricate pop production weaving the instantly classic titular song throughout. Though nostalgic, "Morning Beat," "Good Kind of Love," and "Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl" revel in rejuvenation, Wilson's personal confrontations and revelations on the second half adding rewarding depth. "Oxygen to the Brain," piano-led "Midnight's Another Day," chugging boogie "Going Home," and the gorgeous closer all examine the past with an honesty and affirmation that deliver Wilson to the present, looking back to finally move forward.