“God Only Knows,” besides being one of the most beautiful ballads ever recorded, may have been the most sophisticated song on the album and was possibly pointing toward the future. Carl Wilson’s voice floats above a symphony of instrumental sounds. The layering of such instruments as French horns, strings, harpsichord, flutes, and a staccato percussion all provide a subtle background for this ethereal ballad.
Pet Sounds continues to satisfy. Paul McCartney once said, “No one is educated musically until they’ve heard Pet Sounds." In line with this quote I remember reading somewhere that the more you live, the better it gets. Pet Sounds’ legacy is that it changed the way albums were recorded and created.
Pet Sounds concludes with another beautiful ballad, this time of loss. The final sounds of “Caroline No" would echo Brian Wilson's most creative musical period. A train is coming down the track while a dog barks. The train passes and is quickly gone. Then silence.