Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks|
Orange Crate Art
Genres: Pop, Rock
Here is a view of the Golden State through rose-colored glasses that's as effervescent and intoxicating as pink champagne. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks trade the roles they occupied nearly three decades ago when they co... more »
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Here is a view of the Golden State through rose-colored glasses that's as effervescent and intoxicating as pink champagne. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks trade the roles they occupied nearly three decades ago when they collaborated on songs for the Beach Boys' great lost album, Smile. Orange Crate Art was conceived and overseen by Parks, who brought his old boss Wilson aboard chiefly to give voice to Parks's wistful song cycle. Given that much of the album is set in California, who better than favorite son Wilson to sing these songs? But while Wilson's voice initially evokes images of hot rods and surfboards, here he sings of locomotives and steamboats. Parks's California is a state of mind where time is ephemeral. We're brought to a bucolic yesteryear unmarred by violence and poverty. Orange Crate Art is set in "a world apart." A "hobo heart" is carefree rather than desperate. Time is something to be held back. "Everybody must come home" to a town that shuts down by 8 in the evening because "everybody's got things to do." When all is said and done, there's nothing left but doze off to Parks's pop symphonic arrangement of George Gershwin's "Lullaby." --Steven Stolder
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Clever songs, lush arrangements, and Wilson's gift of voice
placidothecat | MD United States | 09/04/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am baffled by the less than enthusiastic reviews of this CD I've seen online and elsewhere. Complaints that Parks' lyrics are too dense and pun laden, and that the music is too intellectual and complex, seem to come from Beach Boys fans who long for the simpler, more direct aspects of Brian Wilson's songwriting style. Orange Crate Art strikes me as a wonderful combination of Parks' adventurous songwriting and Wilson's gift for singing and harmonizing. I find the songs quite catchy and the lyrics full of humor and melancholy. The production is 90's clean and the arrangements inventive and lush. Wilson creates a true "wall of sound" with his wonderful vocal harmony overdubs. Stop wishing for "Pet Sounds II" already! Brian Wilson still has a lot to say musically, and on this CD Van Dyke Parks gives him forum in which to say it."
Parks & Wilson Make Magic Again
DAVID KOH | SINGAPORE Singapore | 01/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a Brian Wilson fan for the past 25 years, so naturally I've followed VDP's career a little bit as well. Of the few past VDP albums I've heard, "JUMP!" was my favourite - that is until this one came along. I don't know how to describe the music - it has strong traces of jazz, calypso, pop, broadway, etc. It defies categorisation but, what the hell, it's sheer great music from someone who's better known as a lyricist than a tune-crafter. The arrangements are brilliant, the musicianship is excellent, the harmonies are immaculate (further demonstration that Brian doesn't need the other BB's) and Brian's lead vocals are spot-on. I think the CD is worth buying even if only for the title track.
It's my most played album over the last 5 years. I pray for more Wilson-Parks collaborations in future. Whichever of them is writing the music, there seems to be magic when they work together. Popular music needs this kind of stuff!"
An Overlooked Gem!
Marley | Long Island, NY | 03/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With all the recent praise heaped on Smile, Orange Crate Art still remains largely under-recognized and under-appreciated. Sure, Smile was supposed to be this grand Copelandesque landscape of America, from Plymouth Rock to The Grand Cooley Dam. But for my money Brian and Van Dyke Parks did it so much better with Orange Crate Art. Having written, what everyone unanimously agrees to be the most California of all anthems, Fun Fun Fun, I Get Around and California Girls, Brian turns his attention to a California not of Hot Rods and Surf, but of sun drenched valleys rich with citrus and vine. Here Wilson and Parks celebrate and pay homage to the likes of Jack London and John Steinbeck. And if all this were not enough, we're treated to My Hobo Heart, a latter day Van Dyke Parks / Michael Hazelwood masterpiece. There's also the lovely Palm Tree & Moon, a dreamy little ode to a moonlit beach, territory not unfamiliar to Brian. And Summer In Monteray is so unabashedly nostalgic it would even make Clint Eastwood Blush. If you haven't become familiar with this so very underated collection yet, you really can't call yourself a Brian Wilson / Van Dyke Parks fan until you give this one a fair shot. You might even find yourself humming Sail Away or Hold Back Time while in the shower. I know I did."