My rating: ***1/2
Leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, Surfin' USA was the Beach Boys' signal to America that they had arrived. The lead single, "Surfin USA", peaked at #3 on the national charts, and its b-side, the inventive "Shut Down" charted as well. This album is full of cool treats, such as the fun semi-instrumental, "Stoked", and the very first appearance of Brian Wilson's melancholy side on the eerie "Lonely Sea." "Farmer's Daughter" gaves the listener a great dose of Brian's falsetto for the first time on lead vocal. The instrumentals are considerably weaker than the rest of the album, in particular the originals (versus the remakes.) "Surf Jam" and the studio version of "Let's Go Trippin'" sound very dated, and "Misirlou" sounds ridiculous when compared to the original.
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