Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

Artist: Brian Wilson

Produced by: Disney Pearl Series

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            It is no secret who Brian Wilson is.  As co-founder of the Beach Boys, Wilson is responsible for creating legendary music that generations of fans enjoy.  What may be a secret to most Brian Wilson fans is that he loves the music of George Gershwin.  According to Wilson, ďAlong with Irving Berlin, Gershwin basically invented the popular song, but he did something more.  He had a gift for melody that nobody has ever equaled, yet his music is timeless and always accessible.Ē  Brian Wilsonís latest project combines his own musical style with that of George Gershwinís timeless classics to create the album Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.

            Now, you may not know this, but I, too, am a fan of George Gershwin for the same reasons as Brian Wilson.  So, when I saw that Wilson was going to remake some of my favorite songs from Gershwin like 'S Wonderful, Summertime, I Got Rhythm, Someone to Watch Over Me and They Canít Take That Away From Me in his own style, I was intrigued.  Iíve heard different versions of the same songs and all seemed to be well done, but Brian Wilson has a very distinct style and I wondered how it would work with these songs.

            The harmonizing on the first track, Rhapsody in Blue/Intro, got my hopes up.  I liked the sound and was looking forward to more.  The second song, The Like in I Love You, wasnít bad either.  Wilsonís voice on this track is a bit smoky, almost bluesy in nature.  But then I got to the meat and potatoes of the album and my hopes were dashed.  The rest of the album sounds like a lounge act or something you might find in a Las Vegas show. 

            How can you take sexy and sultry songs like Summertime and Someone to Watch Over Me and turn them into something like bubblegum pop - lots of candy and fluff and no sexy.  I know Wilson is trying to make these songs his own, but in doing so, he has made them into something Iíd rather not listen to and I believe that diehard Gershwin fans would agree.

            Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin offered up promises of something interesting, but once I listened to the album, I wondered why it was ever created.  This is definitely an album you should have no problem passing up in the music store.


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