1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

937. Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys


Brief Background: Pet Sounds was recorded throughout a year long period from July 1965 to April 1966 and was released in May of ’66. The album was inspired by Rubber Soul and the fact that it was a complete album that contained no filler songs. The songs are all the introspective views of Brian Wilson and are recorded in the Wall of Sound style popularized by Phil Spector.

What I think: I’ve been listening to this album a couple of times a year for the last fifteen years and it’s time for a confession. This confession is my way of accepting something I haven’t wanted to face: I don’t love this album. In fact, I’m not even sure if I like it all that much. A lot of the songs sort of bug me on a fundamental level, like they make me feel anxious and unsettled. There is something with the way Brian uses the Wall of Sound that really grates on me and makes me feel. Also, what’s with nearly every song fading out?

That being said, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows” are my one, two as the best pop songs I have ever heard. They are pure romanticism and innocence in song form. “Sloop John B” has been a favorite song of mine since I was very little. That chorus 2/3 of the way through is pure bliss, despite the lingering sadness of the song (which is what makes it). The little reprise of “You didn’t think that I could sit around and let him take you”  in “I’m Waiting for the Day” is more pop bliss.

Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? With the praise that others give it, and the fact that it contains  the best double A sided single possible, I’ll allow it. I’ll keep at listening to it a couple of times a year as well. Maybe someday it will click.

Rating (Out of 5): 3

Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5

Is this my first time hearing this album? No (18/65)

Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 72%


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