In theory, adding sweeping orchestra arrangements to the early Beach Boys classics doesn't immediately spring to mind as the most obvious of musical marriages yet the funny thing about this seventeen song album is that it seems to do just that, perhaps more so than with the slower ballads and less well known songs also on show here. For this writer, the first octet of tracks from opening overture "California Suite" through to "Heroes and Villains" offer a new depth to the Beach Boys songs that we all know and love not forgetting the closing trio of "Help Me Rhonda", "You Still Believe In Me" and "Good Vibrations". Casual Beach Boys admirers may find themselves skipping the unfamiliar and lower tempo tunes here where the new backing is less striking but on the whole there is a nice balance to what is an enjoyable record. You can also hear what inspired Roy Wood and Wizzard here too in places. Fave moments? For me, it has to be everything from "California Girls" to "Sloop John B" (which really works for me) plus, as ever, the magnificent "Good Vibrations".
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 27-June-2018