So Brian Wilson recently released a new album (that i highly recommend) called “smile”. the story of this album is very interesting and i feel a certain connection with it as i was a little bit of a fly on the wall during a small portion of the recording of it. i was a very tiny, hard of hearing fly, but a fly none the less. i had a chance to work at a studio that happened to be where the beach boys did much of their work. their album “pet sounds” was done there, along with many other works. while we were there, brian wilson was working in another room down the hall, recording in order to finish up this very album. one of the most bizarre experiences of my life was sitting in our control room and hearing someone walk in the door behind us. we look back and it’s none other than the man himself…..”hey, my name is brian (no shit)…..i used to work in this room a lot, just checking in.” and with that he left.
we were pretty floored, humbled, honored to have just been in the same building, but to have him walk in, as if he were intruding on us? whatever, that guy owns that room for all we care.
so that brings me to today, i have been waiting to get this record, especially after i had done some interviewing around the studio to see what he has been working on. i gave it my first listen, and it was truly one of those moments as a musician where you just want to quit…..”i give up”. it’s just a beautiful album and one that deserves everyone ear. when i was a boy, i heard the beach boys and it made me thirst for orange soda. now i hear it and it means something else entirely. the talent and beauty of brian wilson and the beach boys (except for the debacle that was “kokomo”) is something that has been redefined in my adulthood. we all know “good vibrations” and “god only knows” but we don’t remember the greatness, the beauty until we revisit and REALLY listen and allow ourselves to take it in on a totally different level.
i guess my love for the beach boys is reflective of my love for Christ. we all know the bible verses, the same prayers we always pray, the same songs we sing…..all by heart. but there are those moments when our eyes, ears, and hearts are a little bit more open…..we recognize the beauty that we so often just kind of gloss over. we know Jesus’ greatest hits by hearts. we have read the liner notes and memorized all his gigs and set lists….but when do we just see him for who he was? when we let all the outside elements just float away and we are left with this amazing picture of greatness, perfection, absolute beauty.
the first song on smile is titled “our prayer”. there are no words, just a chorus of voices, in harmony. no need to explain, no points to make….just an offering of the beauty that a group of human voices, singing together, can make. as i listened for the first time, i knew these voices where a gift from God, and they were singing back in prayer. it brought a big smile to my face and i coulnd’t help but feel that God was smiling along with me.