The Beach Boys, Sunflower

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 05.18.11 in Reviews


Beach Boys
Their most cohesive collection since the pre-’Smile’ era

The dawning of the 1970s promised fresh beginnings for the Beach Boys, with the reemergence of their own Brothers Records label and a new parent company at Warner Bros. Sunflower was an auspicious debut, with contributions from all members of the band and a sense of unity that made this their most cohesive collection of songs since the pre-Smile era. Most startling was the emergence of Dennis, whose “Forever” is stately, touching and soaring, complemented by a raunchy “Got to Know the Woman” and the catchy album-opener “Slip On Through.” Brian and Mike’s “All I Wanna Do” floats on gossamer wings, and in a more perfect world, “Add Some Music to Your Day” shoulda-coulda-woulda been a chart topping hit single. But to the Beach Boys’ consternation, the single and album never gained traction, and though Sunflower remains a fan favorite to this day, the band found themselves out of sync with their potential audience.