Don't break out the flip-flops quite yet: This fine and servicable Beach Boys compilation hits only a couple of highlights (along with some excellent album cuts), but isn't much in terms of a cohesive listening experience.
Since 1999, Capitol Records has put out about 12 different Beach Boys singles collections, each rearranging the same songs in different orders, making for a glut of utterly pointless, completely useless CDs that wind up covering the same territory over and over again (and that's not even counting the gamut of non-Capitol compilations that make their way to shelves every year on top of that). So, really, what's so special about Summer Love Songs, and why should we care? Well, in short, this compilation at least tries to do something a bit different by digging into the archives for some deeper album cuts. Oh sure, there are some classic singles strewn about ("God Only Knows", "Put Your Head on My Shoulder", "Help Me, Rhonda" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice"), but some of Summer Love Song's finest moments come from lesser-known tracks like the psych-pop gem "Our Sweet Love" (from 1970's Sunflower) and the excellent guitar-driven number "Good to My Baby" (from 1965's Today!).
Though some tracks are given some pristine stereo remixes, the supposed "get" of this compilation is the release of "Fallin' in Love", a never-before released track, that, in fact, has been released before as the B-side to "Sound of Free" -- Dennis Wilson's first-ever solo single. Though somewhat innocuous, the string-laced "Fallin' in Love" is an excellent Wilson composition and a downright surprising omission from last year's Pacific Ocean Blue re-release. So elegant, in fact, it feels somewhat out of place with the rest of the immaculate Brian Wilson compositions that pepper this release. In the end, Summer Love Songs is a pleasant-enough Beach Boys diversion but still a far cry from owning any (if not all) of the original classic albums.