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Rock/pop

The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

Pet Sounds
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    • Sonics
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    Produced, composed, and arranged by Brian Wilson, Pet Sounds stands as the Beach Boys’ pinnacle. The album is brimming with beautiful ballads, exotic instrumentation, lush five-part harmonies, and an aching sentimentality. Recorded largely with session players from L.A.’s fabled Wrecking Crew, Pet Sounds was Wilson’s chance to step away from songs about surfing and cars, instead crafting tender songs about adolescent love, both newfound and lost, as well as innocence and bewilderment. Analogue Productions’ two-disc, 45rpm, 200-gram stereo album boasts exceptionally detailed separation and aptly showcases Pet Sounds’ shimmering sonics. Mark Linett produced this stereo mix with an assembled digital multi-track master that synched the original four-track instrumental master with the four- and eight-track vocal overdub master. It was then mixed to 15ips 1/4-inch analog tape with SR noise reduction. How good is it? Carol Kaye’s picked Fender P-Bass is tight and punchy on the intro to “God Only Knows,” and the clarity reveals the swelling emotion of Carl Wilson’s angelic lead vocal to announce that you’ve entered the Church of Rock ’n’ Roll. Say amen.

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