“Spring Vacation” is an ode to themselves as Wilson and Love share the lead vocals. The lyrics express their happiness of being back together and it’s been decades since the Beach Boys issued a happy song. “The Private Life of Bill and Sue” features Wilson’s plaintive lead vocal with a ska/reggae beat in support. Both of these songs are probably the most sophisticated musically as the various instruments weave in and out and then combine in unique ways.
“Beaches In Mind” has a Mike Love lead vocal but it is the repetitive chorus with the united voices that is memorable.
The final three tracks are a loosely united trilogy of the band looking back while accepting the present. “From There to Back Again” is a nostalgic ballad of looking back when life was spread out in front of them. “Pacific Coast Highway” is a nostalgic and reflective look at life from the present. “Summer’s Gone,” with Brian Wilson’s sad vocal, brings the album to a conclusion as it's time to go.
I have seen The Beach Boys in concert four times and bought all of their studio releases. Their generation has aged gracefully in some ways but ungracefully in others, so I am willing to overlook a few flaws as this may be the last Beach Boys studio album. It is one to savor as one tries to catch a final glimpse of the endless summer.
It may not be as good as their best early career material but it is excellent in its own right and place in time. It is representative of their sound and that alone makes it an album worth owning. Fifty years have passed and The Beach Boys may not pass this way again.