That’s Why God Made the Radio, by The Beach Boys

In 1966, the Beach Boys made waves by using God in a song title. “God Only Knows” became one of popular music’s most heralded singles, marking a huge growth spurt for a band previously known for celebrating cars, girls and surf.

Now the surviving original members—Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine—have reunited to mark the band’s 50th anniversary, this time invoking the Almighty in their album title. But projects like this raise inevitable fears about whether there’s any musical point. One hopes the group that inspired the Beatles to make Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band might still have something powerful to impart. Another round of songs about surf and sun—by men in their late sixties—could constitute a mawkish ode to arrested development, one with all the subtlety of a neon-blue Hawaiian shirt.

 

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