There aren't many pop albums that get to achieve the distinction of being a classic, but those that do definitely made a mark. A true pop classic is undoubtedly Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, an album that has managed to become one of pop music's most important and influential albums. With relative ease and loads of sweet style, The Beach Boys brought character into pop music with Pet Sounds.
While Pet Sounds on the surface sounds like a simple, easygoing pop album, it's quite the contrary. There's a lot going on underneath the surface. The harmonies are often complex, but theory-wise and execution-wise, as is the case on the slow, pretty 'You Still Believe In Me.' The album's gentle, sweet nature often times masks its true diversity; songs like 'Here Today' sounds pretty upbeat at first, but if you listen to the words, it's actually quite sobering: "You've got to keep in mind love is here today / And it's gone tomorrow / It's here and gone so fast." It's a tale of a past love, put to melodies so bittersweetly optimistic.
Of course, with as sweet as it is, Pet Sounds has a lot of pop sensibility to it. Opening track 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' has that perfect pop flow, perhaps being one of the first songs to really define that sound. It has a curious guitar intro that helps usher in the bouncy drive, bringing the album to a pretty fun start. 'I'm Waiting For The Day' draws from the same sadness as 'Here Today,' though with a punchier drive to it. The dreamy realization of 'That's Not Me' puts you in a sort of trance, while closing track 'Hang On To Your Ego' brings the album out on a funky note.
Few pop albums get to boast the title of "classic," but the few that do truly shine bright. The Beach Boys brought character into pop music with Pet Sounds, defining generations of music yet to come in a gentle and effective way. A lot of the pop music we know today has roots that can be traced right back to this album, and that's exactly why it will forever be called a "classic," as that fact will never change.
Favorite Tracks: I'm Waiting For The Day, Here Today
Least Favorite Track: Pet Sounds
Rating: 80 / 100
Stream or buy Pet Sounds on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: