Summer In Paradise
My rating: ****
This album, conceived three and a half years after the success of "Kokomo" was the first new studio album not to reach the Billboard Top 200 since "Stack-O-Tracks". In addition, it has been repeatedly lambasted by Brian Wilson fans and Beach Boys fans alike. Why?? All I hear is great music. Sure, one can be cynical and say that the Beach Boys were trying to cash in on the success of "Kokomo" by creating sound-alike songs. I'm not saying that that is untrue, but the results make for very pleasant listening for the most part.
The opening song "Hot Fun In The Summertime" creates a warm, summery, fun-in-the-sun, Southern California feeling. The classy "Island Fever" is easily one of the strongest cuts, and would have been single-worthy if the Boys had given it a chance. The title cut "Summer In Paradise" has an environmental flavor, and a very catchy chorus. These songs, coupled with laidback summery songs like "Under The Boardwalk", "Strange Things Happen", and "Lahaina Aloha" make for a great car tape, creating a musical backdrop for a Southern California summer. Most will want to skip Mike Love's "Summer Of Love", however.
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