Album: Wilson Phillips

California, COLUMBIA

Astonishingly, it has been 12 years since Wilson Phillips scored their couple of multi-platinum album successes, the last of which, Shadows and Light, saw them moving into Fleetwood Mac-style AOR territory just as that market effectively dried up. Produced by West Coast Svengali Peter Asher, this comeback album finds the girls tackling a series of emblematic California anthems, from their own parents' "Monday Monday", "Dance Dance Dance" and "In My Room", to such staples of David Geffen's 1970s SoCal empire as The Eagles' "Already Gone", Jackson Browne's "Doctor My Eyes" and Joni Mitchell's "California". The latter is the album's most challenging piece, and sadly, Wendy Wilson doesn't really animate the song. The Browne and Eagles numbers are much better suited to their callow charms, as is The Youngbloods hit "Get Together", which has just the right air of youthful optimism. Elsewhere, things generally fall short of their ambitions. Brian Wilson turns up to add piano and sombre middle-eight to his "In My Room", but the best performance here, surprisingly, is of Neil Young's "Old Man", where Carnie's lead vocal captures just the right air of premature world-weariness.