The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds

Long considered one of the rock era’s greatest albums, “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys is also one of its most misunderstood.  Despite the sunny singles, the achingly beautiful album is composer Brian Wilson’s cry for understanding and a sense of place in a tumultuous period that would lead to a psychological breakdown that would remove him from his gifts for decades.  In what’s been described as “an experiment in music journalism,” Jim Fusilli explores the album, the band’s history and his deeply personal reaction to Wilson’s plight and the deeper meanings of the songs.

What’s so striking about many of the songs is how openly they reveal the level of Brian’s self-knowledge.  Clearly, he explored his own insecurities and knew them painfully well.  He knew his shortcomings, real and perceived, and demanded more of himself, the world he inhabited and the one he wished for, and he did so largely without guile, without pretense…What a remarkable thing it is to know there’s someone out there who understands how you feel and feels the same way.