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Keepin' The Summer Alive

(1980)

My rating: **


The second of two consecutive albums produced by the returning Bruce Johnston, Keepin' The Summer Alive has a number of gems on its lineup. It also has a few clunkers, which takes away from the "wholeness" of the album. There's some four-star material here, like the rockin' title track which features a spirited lead vocal by Carl Wilson that exudes quite powerful vibes a la "Wild Honey". Then there's the lead single, "Goin' On" which has a group vocal that hearkens back to the early 70's. Much like on the previous LA Light Album, the definite strength here is Carl Wilson's vocals. His leads on the two aforementioned tracks are stellar, and his singing on lesser writings, such as "Oh Darlin" and "Livin' With A Heartache" prevent them from totally bombing. Mike Love makes an impressive appearance, with a very "classic" sounding lead on "Some Of Your Love" and the unreleased "Goin' To The Beach" (not on the album). Some of the clunkers: "School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell)", a failed attempt to replicate the success of "Rock & Roll To The Music"; "When Girls Get Together", a weak outtake from 1970, and the aforementioned "Oh Darlin". The rest: a pleasing and bouncy but incomprehensible faux-reggae ditty called "Sunshine", and an interesting Al Jardine production called "Santa Ana Winds".

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