Reviews 26
Approval 99%

Soundoffs 242
News Articles 5
Band Edits + Tags 10
Album Edits 154

Album Ratings 2395
Objectivity 71%

Last Active 12-19-18 7:20 pm
Joined 06-11-12

Review Comments 2,796

07.16.24 Fave 1967 Albums06.22.24 Fave 1978 Albums
06.16.24 Evil Beach Boys Ranked (1977 - )03.28.24 Fave 1987 Albums
02.23.24 Fave 1990 Albums01.04.24 Bandcamp Listens
01.01.24 202412.19.23 Fave 2007 Albums
12.18.23 The Top 25 Albums Of The Year 2023 Acco 11.30.23 Tunes of the Year
11.15.23 Ranking My 5's (2023)11.09.23 Listening Log: Part Vier
10.18.23 Beach Boys Ranked ( - 1977)08.11.23 2023 Listening Log: Part Tres
05.10.23 Boyfriend In Survival Mode 04.22.23 2023 Listening Log: Part Deux
01.24.23 100 Favorite Songs Ever (50-1) 01.04.23 2023 Listening Log
More »

Evil Beach Boys Ranked (1977 - )

Im picking up bad vibrations. She's cursing me with incantations
1The Beach Boys
Summer in Paradise

The anti-Pet Sounds. The Mike LoVE made-it front to back, an attempt at capturing the spirit of Kokomo gone horribly wrong. What to say about Summer In Paradise? It was one of the first albums recorded in pro tools - the snares sound like gun shots for no good reason. “Summer of Love”, already a nightmare being one big Mike Love rap, was originally supposed to be a duet with Bart Simpson. Van Dyke Parks is on here - playing the damn accordion. It ends with John Stamos of Full House infamy butchering a Dennis Wilson classic. There is an updated and arguably worse cover of their song "Surfin' ", and three very unfortunate covers of well known Drifters, Shangri-la's, and Sly and the Family Stone songs.
2The Beach Boys
Summer in Paradise

Summer In Paradise spares you no mercy - it’s one and only decent song, Lahaina Aloha, is buried in the last third of the album. You have to suffer to find something even approaching decent. The bar is in Hell - Mike Love will be spending a lot of time with it. This is not a ‘so bad its good’ album. It’s just disappointing all around. THAT SAID, Summer of Love does need to be heard to be believed. I recommend watching the Baywatch tie-in music video, in which Brian Wilson is clearly on camera against his will, surrounded by Love and an impressive number of bikini babes.

3The Beach Boys
Stars And Stripes Vol. 1

Hot on the heels of their nadir, Stars and Stripes is an album that relegates the band to backing vocals only, letting of-the-time country singers and their ilk do the singing proper. While all in all this isn’t a terrible idea, most of these singers just do not inspire brilliance. Collin Raye sounds like beige looks, Sawyer Brown sounds strained on I Get Around, and Doug Supernaw’s doing his thing but it just…None of this should really exist. The arrangements are also really nothing special. I promise, you don’t need to hear a countrified version of 409 or Little Deuce Coupe when it already exists in its original form. HOWEVER, A hearty thank you to Willie Nelson and Lorrie Morgan - their songs capture the potential spirit of this project best. Tragically, this is Carl Wilsons last performance on a BB Studio album. Relegated to backing vocals.

4The Beach Boys
Still Cruisin'

An absolute oddity. The final entry in the trifecta of ‘Why on Earth does this exist’? Having found a burst of success in Kokomo, the boys scrounged together 7 tracks - 4 having already been in films (Kokomo, Make It Big, Wipe Out, Still Cruisin’) - and tacked on three oldies (that had also been in movies). The result is absolutely confounding. Still Cruisin’ is a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster that sucks shit, sure, but a rollercoaster nonetheless.
5The Beach Boys
Still Cruisin'

Still Cruisin’, the track, is mid. Couldn’t care less about it. It is followed by arguably the best song 80’s BB puts out, Somewhere Near Japan. It isn’t their song, given to them by John Phillips, but it is a suit they wear incredibly well. Eerie backstory aside, they absolutely kill it. Soft rock bliss. Listen to that ‘my engine’s all burned out, my crew has all baaaailed out’ and tell me otherwise. It is followed by Island Girl, a trash Jardine song. There is also Kokomo, a slice of tropical bliss that I will give Mike Love his flowers for. Make It Big sounds like a the dollar store version of a Pet Shop Boys track with a good chorus and nothing else.

And who can forget Wipe Out, a Fat Boys/Beach Boys crossover clearly inspired by Walk This Way? Not me, unfortunately - the problem is it’s so bad that I’m stricken with awe that it was even released. I can not parse this song when I listen to it. It does something evil to me. This is the true power of Evil Beach Boys.
6The Beach Boys
Still Cruisin'

Brian Wilson has a tune here - In My Car. Depending on the day I think it’s pretty impressive, or overproduced. And those are the seven new tracks on Still Cruisin’. The album ends with its trifecta of 60s golden oldies hits, nostalgia bait at its finest. THIS is the so bad it’s good album. With a karaoke hit in Kokomo and an out-of-left field stunner in Somewhere Near Japan, there are reasons to listen to this! It’s just mired with bad stuff, some boring but mostly laughable.

7The Beach Boys
Keepin' the Summer Alive

The last in the soft-rock trilogy, and also the worst of it. There are very few highlights here - Santa Ana Winds is hokey in a charming way that they rarely hit at this time in their career. Livin With A Heartache is also a good rollicking, folksy sort of tune. Everything else though feels veeeery phoned in. Thankfully they would take a break after this one.

8The Beach Boys
L.A. (Light Album)

This is Dennis and Carl’s, for better and worse. Angel Come Home is a diamond in the rough. Jesu, the joy of man is interpolated on Lady Lynda - and it works. Unfortunately the rest of this stuff is very bland, very basic yacht rock from our boys. The one time it does mix things up ends disastrously - a mysterious and bad 11 minute disco version of ‘Here Comes The Night’, a song from Wild Honey, definitely drops this a solid .5 points.

9The Beach Boys
M.I.U. Album

Probably the most consistent of the soft-rock trilogy. They really nail the easy-listening vibe but keep things interesting sonically for anyone listening a little closer. My Diane is oddly haunting with its plodding tempo and forlorn harmonies, Sweet Sunday Of Our Love feels like S-tier 60’s Beach Boys. Matchpoint of Our Love is the most effective use of tennis metaphors i’ve ever heard in a song. Most of the stuff here is nice to listen to! Unfortunately the absolutely terrifying Hey Little Tomboy is also here. THEY’RE DOING IT ALL OVER THE WORRRRLD

10The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys

I see a lot of love for ‘Getcha Back’ around BB fans, but I despise it as an opener. The 1985 self-titled (what an odd time for a self-titled) does best when the boys actually embrace the 80s! Nostalgia bait like California Calling and the harmonica riddled swing of It’s Just A Matter of Time, those don’t do much for me. But there are a few times they fire on all cylinders here! Where I Belong and It’s Getting Late have incredible group vocals, the former having some saccharine lyrics to go along with it. Maybe I Don’t Know is snappy guitar driven pop, I Do Love You is a gift from Stevie Wonder that Jardine and Carl perform excellently. Carl really shines here, actually - those two songs It’s Getting Late and Where I Belong are his, and they swell and explode at his request, the instrumentation often quiet with the Boys at the forefront. He’s also behind Maybe I Don’t Know! Man really had the right idea here.

11The Beach Boys
That's Why God Made The Radio


When I started listening to these guys early last year, I had no idea how this whole thing would end. I heard they fell off a cliff and that’s it - I would see the higher rating on TWGMTR and just feel a sense of dread, of false hope. But right out of the gate with an ‘Our Prayer’ like opener and a title track easily better than anything they released post ‘85 - I actually teared up a little bit? Brian Wilson was truly back for the Beach Boys, for one last ride in the saddle.

And I won’t pretend this is a beautiful album - the production feels a little flat at times, and these guys were what, in their late 60s, 70s? So the autotune at times is notable, but jesus who cares man, Brian Wilson is writing harmonies and far as I can tell the Beach Boys are singing them. The album seems conceptual in nature, basically a musing on their 50 year career, and it all tracks pretty well.
12The Beach Boys
That's Why God Made The Radio

There are a few songs on the first half that fall flat (Private Life Of Bill And Sue, Shelter) but everything from the second half is solid as a rock, and that bittersweet nostalgic closer, Summer’s Gone, it really does bring a tear to my eye. I’m very, very glad Brian Wilson could put this all together.

Show/Add Comments (8)


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2023
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy