Friday, October 2, 2015


This is the soundtrack to the acclaimed new biopic of Beach Boy leader Brian Wilson.  The favourable script focuses on his mental breakdown and subsequent rehab decades later, after years of malpractice and abuse.  Don't expect a Beach Boys greatest hits though, or even a Wilson one.  While there are some examples, it also includes several sections of the score, as composed by Atticus Ross.

It's actually quite interesting what Ross has done, trying to present audio that matches the torment of swirling voices Wilson had in his head.  He uses snippets of dialogue, some Beach Boys samples and clouds of new instrumental sections.  All the while, he keeps a connection to the original music Wilson composed, so there are hints all the way through of that sound, from the '60's surf hits to Pet Sounds era to his time adrift in the '70's.

For full songs, there are key Beach Boys numbers Don't Worry Baby, Good Vibrations and God Only Knows.  There's a brief passage of actor Paul Dano in the Wilson role doing a rough version of the latter from the film as well.  For Wilson solo cuts, there's a previously-released live version of Love and Mercy, his long-time theme song and concert closer, plus a new track as featured in the film, One Kind Of Love, not much of a tune to be honest, a typical example of his more bland recent ballads.  The attraction here will be the overall mix of the heady score pieces by Ross, going back and forth with classic Beach Boys productions, the ultimate mood music.

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