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Music DVD Review: Brian Wilson – That Lucky Old Sun

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Last year Brian Wilson released a wonderful new CD, That Lucky Old Sun. It proved that he could return home as it was a mature album that paid homage to his California sound and roots.

Wilson has now issued a companion DVD that not only compliments but enhances the spirit, and ultimately the appreciation, of the original release. The entire album is presented live and in order. Brian’s voice may not be as strong and pure as it once was but he more than gets by. He wisely surrounds himself with a good band and back-up vocalists who fill in the sound nicely.

Jeff Foskett spent ten years touring with the Beach Boys as a guitarist and he now anchors Wilson’s group. Taylor Mills, who provided some back-up vocals on his Smile project, also returns to provide a visual and vocal presence. It all adds up to a classic concert and musical experience.

The DVD is a generous two and half hours in length. In addition to the music there is an interesting documentary. The band members plus such artists as Billy Hinsche and Mickey Dolenz are interviewed. Directed by George Dougherty, it explores Wilson’s relationship to Southern California.

Other highlights include a track by track commentary by Brian Wilson and some scenes from the actual recording sessions. It is all recorded and presented in 5.1 surround sound.

No matter how you package it, however, the music remains the most important element. “Midnight’s Another Day” is a powerful ballad, “Good Kind Of Love” takes me back to his “Good Vibrations” at least on the chorus, and “Forever She’ll Be My Surfer Girl” returns him and the listener to the soft sands of a beach long ago. The final two tracks, “Going Home” and “Southern California” complete his journey, at least for now. The gorgeous music and sensitive lyrics all transport the listener to a brighter and more positive time and place.

Brian Wilson is now one of the grand old men of American rock ‘n’ roll and his past work will always have raised expectations for any new release on his part. That Lucky Old Sun DVD is a fine addition to his body of work. It compliments the album yet stands as a unique musical release in its own right. All in all it is an excellent way to enjoy some fine music.

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