Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS

Album review: Brian Wilson, "Reimagines Gershwin"

trace adkinsOne legend tackles another on Brian Wilson's latest. (Jonathan Alcorn/FTWP)

By Allison Stewart

The Gershwin vault is a musical Holy Grail, a metaphorical repository of more than 100 unfinished songs and fragments of songs written by legendary composer George Gershwin and his brother Ira. Last year, the Gershwin estate handed Beach Boy Brian Wilson the keys.
"Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin" includes familiar songs, gently reinvented, and two previously incomplete tracks, now finished by Wilson and a collaborator. It avoids the excessive fealty paid by most Gershwin re-interpreters - the swelling background vocals, the saccharine strings. It is affectionate but not literal.


"I've Got a Crush on You" sounds like a Platters cover circa 1955. "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "I Got Rhythm" evoke the Beach Boys 10 years later, with the piled-high woo-ooo harmonies and effusive pop melodies that were the band's calling card.

It's not all symphonic surf pop: "Rhapsody in Blue," with its eerie, choral harmonies, both opens and closes the disc, and " 'S Wonderful" is reinvented as a sleepy Brazilian jazz number. The two unfinished tracks, "Nothing but Love" and "The Like in I Love You," the latter originally composed for the 1920s musical "Lady, Be Good," end up sounding more like elaborately arranged late-'60s pop songs than anything a Depression-era George Gershwin would have ever conceived. They're late-middle-aged symphonies to God.

Recommended tracks: "Rhapsody in Blue," "The Like in I Love You," "They Can't Take That Away From Me"

By Allison Stewart  |  August 17, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Brian Wilson, George Gershwin  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Album review: Trace Adkins, "Cowboy's Back in Town"
Next: Album review: Esperanza Spalding, "Chamber Music Society"

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company