Stars & Stripes, Vol. 1


My rating: ***1/2

Just when it seemed like the Beach Boys had run out of gas, they put out a brand new album under a brand new genre of music: country!! To some, this may be sickening, but one need only open one's ears to hear the beautiful results. Sure, the Beach Boys only provide the background vocals, so it could be argued that this isn't even a Beach Boys album. However, their voices are prominent, and as beautifully mature as ever. Lorrie Morgan does a great job with the opener, "Don't Worry Baby", and James House rips it up with his remake of "Little Deuce Coupe". Things keep rolling with Junior Brown's hyperactive rendition of "409" and Doug Supernaw's "Long Tall Texan". Things kind of stagnate in the middle of the album, with a rather mundane remake of "I Get Around" and a way-too-long version of "Be True To Your School." There are some special treats toward the end of the album, with Collin Raye and Matthew Jardine doing a splendid rendition of "Sloop John B", Kathy Troccoli doing "I Can Hear Music" (listen to the acapella part--wow!!) and a beautiful vocal tag at the end of "Caroline, No". Willie Nelson's take on "The Warmth Of The Sun" was highly hyped, and the results are OK, but not surprisingly disappointing.

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