Sound Bites – Brian Wilson, The Korgis, soundtrack of ‘Licorice Pizza’ – Music – Buzz
The first edition of Sound Bites for the New Year features an entry from the Great White North, a gems-laden film soundtrack, a solo piano record from a living legend and the first new music in 30 years of a beloved British band.
Brian wilson – At my piano (Decca Records)
I admit a minimum of cynicism hearing news of this album, but listening to it made me change my mind pretty quickly. Hearing one of the finest composers (not to mention vocal arrangers) of our times revisit many of the richest gems from his catalog on this solo instrumental piano record is an eerily beautiful and surprisingly moving experience for fans. We hear Wilson revamping timeless classics including ‘God Only Knows’, ‘In My Room’ and ‘I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times’ in versions that almost make you feel like you’re just listening outside. of its music room. You wonder what he thinks when his fingers strike the keys of “Sketches of Smile”, “Til I Die” and “Love and Mercy”. The triumphs and tumult of Wilson’s past are contained in this music which is now part of the fabric of our culture stripped of its essence.
The Korgis – Kartoon World (Angel Air)
The group that gave the world the ethereal hit “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” in 1980 are back with their first new music in 30 years. Originally an offshoot of British prog-folk-pop group Stackridge, The Korgis’ specialty is melodic pop, and that includes this concept double album created during the Covid lockdown. The inspired songs stand on their own as they tell a story spanning 50 years of how only love can save the world from a colossal fall. Songs like “Bringing Back the Spirit of Love”, “LaLa Land” and “Back in the Eighties” each deserve hit single status while a second disc features alternate mixes and demos. “Kartoon World” is a beautifully executed set containing notes composed by the band, a poster, lyrics and an animated history of the band.
The Brandy Alexanders – (eponymous; Gypsy Soul Entertainment Inc.)
The debut feature by this psych-rock band from Windsor, Ont. Packs a concise punch with its mix of dreamy acoustic pop (“Conventional Lie”, “IDK What I’m Trying to Do”) rockers more heavy (“Ceiling Fan, Man,” “Shiram”) and dance-pop (“Live By The Light”). Some of these songs are so catchy that I should probably warn you that the enchanting song “Rear Window” stuck in my head for almost a week after hearing it once. The expansive production gives “The Brandy Alexanders” a vast soundscape that is especially enjoyable with headphones. Any band named after the drink that kicked John Lennon out of an LA nightclub deserves my attention and it’s a record that deserves yours.
Licorice Pizza – (Soundtrack of the film, Republic)
The music for Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed film Growing Up in the early 1970s in Los Angeles offers an almost perfect blend of the soundtrack from that era (David Bowie, The James Gang, Paul McCartney) combined with ‘other eras (Nina Simone, Bing Crosby, Chico Quintet of Hamilton). The most funky release of The Doors is here (“Peace Frog”) with Donovan and Jeff Beck, Mason Williams and a subsequent success of Suzi Quatro who released her debut album when this movie’s story unfolds. Frequent PTA collaborator Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead created the theme for the instrumental track.