Ten years ago, we began presenting the beloved Counterbalance series that ran through 2016. Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger debate the merits of some of the most critically-acclaimed albums of all time. We are re-running the entire series beginning today with a new entry each Monday. Enjoy.
Classic Albums: Pet Sounds expands the mythos of one musician to an entire group, and in doing so, allows us to see the project in a different, equally compelling light.
26 Sep 2016
Fifty years on, Brian Wilson’s emotive musings on love, loss, and loneliness have proven to be truly timeless.
15 May 2016
Some photos of Brian Wilson and John Cusack discussing Love & Mercy and of a Skin Wars body-painting fashion show.
11 Jun 2015
Brian Wilson's life has all the makings of a modern day epic poem, a promise that Love & Mercy delivers on.
05 Jun 2015
The latest installment of Pop Unmuted talks about pop artists who are far into their careers, starting with the latest Brian Wilson album. No Pier Pressure.
27 Apr 2015
By showing the range and the influence these session musicians had on the hits from the '50s to the '70s, The Wrecking Crew proves their place in rock 'n' roll history.
13 Mar 2015
For the last proper song on The Beach Boys Today, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys craft their most inventive and sublime track to date, "In the Back of My Mind".
16 Jun 2014
Likely the first song written for The Beach Boys Today!, "She Knows Me Too Well" is surprisingly sophisticated and unique.
09 Jun 2014
Opening a side full of lush ballads, "Please Let Me Wonder" presents a multi-layered lyric about the difficulties of intimacy and pursuing creative fulfillment.
19 May 2014
While there are obvious downsides to the kind of discography that the Beach Boys have assembled -- it's dense, lengthy, and larded with inconsistent results -- one of the payoffs deserves special mention: those moments of discovery.
15 May 2014
To close out Side A, the Beach Boys give us a seemingly straightforward dance song about hedonistic escapism, and, of course, dancing!
12 May 2014
As a highly complex song that deals with anxieties about becoming an adult, "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" was an unlikely hit single. But more than that, it stands as one of the most impressive songs in the Beach Boys' catalog.
28 Apr 2014
Originally offered to Phil Spector to record with the Ronettes, the third track on The Beach Boys Today! presents a conflicted and guilt-ridden autobiographical narrative.
21 Apr 2014
With the second track of The Beach Boys Today!, we get a solidly written song reminiscent of the group's earlier singles: sophisticated but digestible and fun.
14 Apr 2014
Diving into the first track on The Beach Boys Today!, we look at "Do You Wanna Dance", a re-interpretation of a 1958 Bobby Freeman song, and investigate the question of what exactly a Beach Boys song is.
07 Apr 2014
The often overlooked The Beach Boys Today! (1965) finds Brian Wilson and the rest of the band embracing the sophisticated musical experimentation we would later find on Pet Sounds while retaining the catchy accessibility of their early surf and car songs.
31 Mar 2014
Five good reasons to catch Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and David Marks in concert if you get a chance.
09 Aug 2013
Almost half a century later, The SMiLE Sessions fully vindicate Brian Wilson's obsessive efforts: the material is complex but accessible, intense but assured, the fully realized vision of a unique talent.
26 Aug 2012
Win the ultimate beach prize pack from the Beach Boys, including their new album That's Why God Made the Radio and a Lomography La Sardina camera, to start off your summer!
22 Jun 2012
The Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Metallica and other rock groups have been around for decades. What are the keys to their longevity?
20 Jun 2012
Starting with the most memorable and ending with the most dull (or clichéd), here’s what happened on “music’s biggest night”.
13 Feb 2012
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