Thursday, October 07, 2004

Brian Wilson presents Smile Part IV: Smile


And finally, after all these years, Brian Wilson decided that he was going to finish Smile.

So he, Van Dyke Parks, and Darian Sahanaja of the Wondermints did a Mike Love-ectomy of the existing Smile pieces, finished or rewrote a few other pieces, tacked on a few bridges to accomodate key changes (as Brian can't hit the high notes as he used to) and figured out a road version of the album.

Brian had to take it on the road first to know for sure that someone wanted to hear this music. And they did.

Now finally, his dad just one of the faint voices in his head, Mike Love an oldies circuit relic with no power over him anymore, Brian went into a studio and in a phenomenally short time made the album he wanted to make almost 40 years ago.

And strangely, while no longer innovative, no longer germane to the music scene, it is good. And it gives me hope. Brian Wilson is an inspiration for me, that potential creative genius can still come back, after all these years, after all the sorrow and tragedy. Every time I look back on the missed opportunities, the unreached potentials of my life, I take comfort that as long as I am still around, I still have a chance.

Listen to Smile if you get a chance. You may not like it. You may think it's corny and dated. But for Brian Wilson and for me, it's one of the best things we've ever heard.

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