Freedom Wind

Freedom Wind

This isn’t a Beach Boys tribute. It’s more like a deliberate attempt to be the Beach Boys around the time they were moving away from their Chuck Berry-derived surf-rock, and exploring where their expert feel for harmony and leader Brian Wilson’s awakening as one of the 1960s most adventurous and successful songwriters could take them. If someone didn’t tell you this is actually an ensemble of twenty-somethings from Charleston, South Carolina, you’d assume this is a collection of never before released Beach Boys tracks, which raises odd critical issues. In terms of pure artistry, this is practically tracing. But in terms of pleasure, if you enjoy The Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds (which continues to appear on all-time favorites lists the world over, suggesting plenty of people do), then there’s no reason not to enjoy this note-perfect replication. Truth told, the music is retro and gorgeous. “Forever,” “Don’t Forget the Sun,” “Do You Love Me?” are pure fun, from the high-end falsettos and the explosive harmonies to the perfect pummel of the drums. These Beach Boys re-enactors (they also claim other influences, like ELO) belong in a category all their own.

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