Beach Boys first album
Beach Boys' mastermind Brian Wilson stirred up unexpected controversy with some of his fans last year when he announced that his upcoming new album would feature guest appearances by hip-hop maverick Frank Ocean, new country star Kacey Musgraves. TV actress and periodic singer Zooey Deschanel and Lana Del Rey (who performs in San Diego May 16 at Sleep Train Amphitheatre).
But - surprise, surprise! - the songs that featured Ocean and Del Rey, "Our Special Love" and "The Last Song, " respectively, no longer feature either of them. Conversely, Musgraves did make the cut, as did Deschanel (together with her She & Him recording partner, M. Ward). Ocean, arguably, has the most thematically appropriate surname of any artist to ever collaborate with a past or present member of the Beach Boys.
Other guests on "No Pier Pressure" include Fun singer Nate Ruess, Capitol Cities' Sebu Simonian and Beach Boy alums Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin. Jardine's sun, Matt, also appears on the album, along with longtime Wilson collaborator Jeff Foskett, various members of Wilson's touring band and such veteran studio musicians as trumpeter Mark Isham and drummers Jim Keltner and Kenny Aronoff. Rolling Stones album producer and Was (Not Was) co-founder Don Was plays bass on some tracks. (The full track listing appears below.)
The album marks Wilson's first collection of new solo material since "That Lucky Old Sun" in 2008. He wrote some of the songs on "No Pier Pressure" for a new Beach Boys album. But that project was scuttled when singer Mike Love, who owns the Beach Boys' name and is a part-time Fairbanks Ranch resident, cut short the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary reunion tour in 2012 with Wilson to resume performing with the version of the band he has long led. (The reunion tour included a concert at what was then Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.)
As for "No Pier Pressure, "Wilson seemed understandably taken aback last year by the negative response from fans who objected to his new collaborators before they had heard a single note from the new album.
"It kind of bums me out to see some of the negativity here about the album I’ve been working so hard on, " Wilson wrote last year on his Facebook page, in response to the barbs from fans.
"In my life in music, I’ve been told too many times not to [mess] with the formula, but as an artist it’s my job to do that – and I think I’ve earned that right. I’m really proud of these new songs and to hear these great artists sing on them just blows me away. I love what we’ve done. I would think that after making music for more than 50 years, my fans would understand that."
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