Album: The Beach Boys, The Smile Sessions (EMI)

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The Independent Culture

Proving that it is possible to have too much of a good thing, the five discs of this outtakes-and-all edition take the (let's be honest) rather meagre delights of Brian Wilson's unfinished "masterwork" and wring the life out of them.

After hearing discs devoted to fragments of "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes And Villains", the effect is the exact opposite of awe-inspiring: it's like attending an autopsy, after which you'll struggle to experience the body in its youthful beauty again. On lesser tracks like "Vega-Tables" and "Wind Chimes", the material doesn't merit the exposure. But the vocal arrangement to "Wonderful" remains a thing of rare beauty and Wilson's studio observations are intermittently revealing. "Beautiful," he responds to a percussion element of "Surf's Up". "Sounds like jewellery."

DOWNLOAD THIS: Good Vibrations; Heroes And Villains; Surf's Up; Wonderful