That Lucky Old Sun
Wilson’s on a roll: Not counting the soundtrack to “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” (1995), “Orange Crate Art” (his 1995 collaboration with Van Dyke Parks), “Live at the Roxy Theatre” (2000), “Pet Sounds Live” (2002), the resuscitated “SMiLE” (2004) and “What I Really Want for Christmas” (2005), he’s managed to put out four solo albums: 1988’s “Brian Wilson,” 1998’s “Imagination,” 2004’s “Gettin’ In Over My Head” and 2008’s “That Lucky Old Sun.”
That’s 10 albums in 20 years, seven of which came out in the last 10 years and four in the last five. So he’s getting more prolific, especially in terms of new material. This creative streak no doubt feeds and/or is fed by his ongoing psychological recovery — something that warms the collective heart of America and the world in light of the years of deteriorating mental health that followed his 1967 breakdown.
“Lucky Old Sun” is at least as good as any of his other solo efforts. Built around Haven Gillespie and Beasley Smith’s melancholic title song as popularized by Louis Armstrong in 1949, the concept album takes a nostalgic, deeply moving look at Wilson’s salad days in Southern California.
“SMiLE” collaborator Parks contributed four beatnik-style interstices (read by Wilson) that tie the album together, as well as the lyrics to “Live Let Live.” Wondermints member Scott Bennett provided lyrics and musical production throughout, while fellow Wondermint Darian Sahanana provided additional musical flourishes.
1. That Lucky Old Sun
2. Morning Beat
3. narrative: Room With A View
4. Good Kind Of Love
5. Forever She’ll Be My Surfer Girl
6. narrative: Venice Beach
7. Live Let Live/That Lucky Old Sun (reprise)
8. Mexican Girl
9. narrative: Cinco De Mayo
10. California Role/That Lucky Old Sun (reprise)
11. narrative: Between Pictures
12. Oxygen To The Brain
13. Can’t Wait Too Long
14. Midnight’s Another Day
15. That Lucky Old Sun (reprise)
16. Going Home
17. Southern California
18. Roll-Around Heaven (reprise)
Total time: 38:02