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What I Really Want for Christmas
Artist: Brian Wilson 
Labels: Arista Records

Riding on the coattails of his 2004 comeback album SMiLE, Brian Wilson follows-up with a Christmas album.  This caused some diehard fans to run to the hills screaming as they thought their Beach Boys deity was born again with SMiLE.  Drop the hype and just enjoy the music. 

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Deck The Halls” is a wonderful rendition as it features a spectacular flute as the main thread.  Backed by the classic Beach Boys falsetto harmonies and a surfy bridge, this song sets the mood for the CD.  Get the dickies and Vitalis out as Wilson goes retro with "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." Tremolo guitar solos, glee club vocals and a straight forward arrangement make this a standout.  “Little Saint Nick” is one of the Beach Boys remakes and couldn’t sound better than the original.  An original tune “Christmassey” Deserves its own place among the classics.  This tune picks up where Pet Sounds left off.  Great production and fastidious detail make this tune the highlight of the CD.

Unobtrusive and very accessible, this holiday CD fits perfectly between your Peanuts Christmas Soundtrack and Burl Ives “Rudolf” album.  Admittedly, I am not a Beach Boys fan and even I couldn’t keep myself going back for more listens.  I humbly appreciate what Wilson has done here.

Jon Rice


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