Since the untimely end to the Beach Boys’ last tour after longtime nemesis Mike Love pulled the plug, Brian Wilson is back in the studio working on a new studio album, slated for release in the fall by Capitol Records.
While he had already begun writing songs for another Beach Boys album, the abrupt end had him refocus on a solo record.
Trying to hark back to his work with wife Marilyn Rovell in The Honeys, Wilson summoned three of his favorite young female vocalists to Hollywood’s Ocean Way Studios: Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves and Zooey Deschanel. Others who have dropped by include rapper Frank Ocean, who appeared on a song called “Special Love,” which may or may not be on the album, along with fun.’s Nate Ruess, whose vocals Wilson compared to his late brother, Carl Wilson.
Musgraves sang on a song called “Guess You Had to Be There.” Deschanel’s “On the Island” is described as a “space age bossa nova,” while “Last Song,” called the “album’s centerpiece,” features two versions — one with a Del Rey vocal, the other with Wilson on lead, a lament for the Beach Boys’ breakup.
Other songs include “Danny Boy,” described by Rollingstone.com as “a harmony-drenched take” on the old standard with Jeff Beck and another song penned by Jim Peterik, the ex-Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” tunesmith who co-wrote the title track to the Beach Boys’ last album, That’s Why God Made the Radio, featuring Wilson’s fellow bandmate Al Jardine.
Blue Note president Don Was, who plays bass on the album, stated, “Brian’s really on it,” saying the quality is every bit as good as “Summer’s Gone,” the heartbreaking lament on the Beach Boys’ last album. “I didn’t expect that he had a whole other album of stuff on that level.”