Monday, December 20, 2004

Who the hell would want to be a music critic, especially one who writes those 50 word reviews for the local rags like Real Groove (which actually has its moments and is worthy, especially in an era where the rock mag has largely become redundant with the rise of the electronic media), or Rip It Up (which hasn’t had an issue worthy of the ink used since Murray Cammick left and is rather self important, bloated and sad these days I’m afraid). I should know, I used to churn them out in days gone bye for Murray, and some of what I wrote is simply embarrassing…the 200 hundred words by 9am for an album you’ve never heard before syndrome…a record that some poor bastard spent a year of blood and toil making….as Lou Reed says “you spend a year and a half making an album and some arsehole gives you a b+”

And in the grand tradition of embarrassing reviews, both the above magazines gave Brian Wilson’s Smile fairly luke warn reviews. Including one from a reviewer that I would have thought better of….but, hey, everyone has an opinion and they’re entitled to it. Including me. And my opinion is that they’re wrong. And they are. Beyond question.

And just to nail that point home, Brian Wilson astounded and mesmerised 3000 odd people on Sunday night past at the Aotea Centre here in Auckland. Russell Bailey actually nailed it pretty well in the NZ Herald and I’m loathe to try and better his review.

Suffice to say that Brigid, who has always looked strangely at my Brian Wilson fixation, and was less than convinced by the rocky ending to the first half, is a new born convert. Smile is everything it was always supposed to be and something more. I hate the way the word genius is so loosely applied, but with Brian, the tragic genius is unquestioned.

Mike Love can trek around the world recycling surf hits endlessly (and providing Mojo with odd “I’m a good guy…really….” interviews that just dig his hole a little deeper) and suing people like poor old rather talentless, Al Jardine- Brian left him behind decades ago. I loved the accoustic bracket at the beginning, and the way he dug out lesser known early tracks ("Wendy" & "Forever"...bliss), and when he ended with a bracket of hits, it was because wanted to, unlike Love's oldies crew trading on the Beach Boys name, it wasn't the reason we were all there.

Fucking genius.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Music review: dancing about architecture.