That's Why God Made the Radio Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first new album in over 20 years with all of the Beach Boys' original surviving members is produced by Brian Wilson and Mike Love.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 83
    The recently rebooted 
 pop legends' most engaged, least cripplingly nostalgic album since 1977's Love You.
  2. 75
    Though uneven, the group's 29th studio work (including 2011's "The Smile Sessions") contains a number of elegant, shockingly beautiful moments that not only do justice to and expand on the sound of Southern California in the 1960s but serve as a bittersweet and at times heartbreakingly brilliant coda to five decades in music.
  3. 70
    While That's Why God Made The Radio may not be in the same league as SMiLE or Pet Sounds, it's an immensely satisfying and interesting outing.
  4. Jun 5, 2012
    While all members sound terrific behind the microphone, particularly when the harmonies are at their thickest, Love's lead turns on the god-awful "Daybreak Over the Ocean" and "Beaches in Mind" are excruciatingly over-played in their winky retro-ness and, quite frankly, an embarrassment.
  5. Jun 6, 2012
    Even if you weren't expecting much from everyone's favourite four part harmony-peddling pension queue, this record would be something of a mixed bag.
  6. Jun 5, 2012
    The best bits of Radio sound like a fan finally getting to play with all the toys. It's a respectful approach, let down too often by sub-par material.
  7. Jun 19, 2012
    No, that's why God made the CD player's "skip" and "program" buttons.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Jun 6, 2012
    This legendary group proves that their harmonies are still the best and their music as catchy as ever. Sure, no one expects them to out-do "Pet Sounds", but this is truly a beautiful record. Expand
  2. Jun 8, 2012
    Reviews I have read certainly haven't listened to the album properly. Yes I'm a Wilson obsessive but I also think that the Beach Boys last good album was Love You and this is far better than that- in fact it's their best effort since Holland.
    Apart from Beaches in Mind, which is pants- everything else is wonderful. No-it's no Pet Sounds, Sunflower, Surfs Up or Smile or even Brian Wilson or That Lucky Old Sun but it's still bloody brilliant. The final three tracks can hold their head to a great deal of Wilson's past triumphs and other tracks really stay with you.
    It sounds wonderful and it is- my album of the year so far and that's high praise as The Beach Boys haven't recorded anything worth listening to in decades.
  3. Ale
    Jun 12, 2012
    After all this years no one expects them to release a beautiful record like this. Brian Wilson write another chapter of his incredible story with the help of some friends like Joe Thomas and Jeff Foskett. Of course the group proves that their harmonies are still the best and their music as catchy as ever. And some incursion of Bon Jovi and Jim Peterick in writing session complete the opera. Great! Expand
  4. Jun 6, 2012
    Ever Since 1978's M.I.U. Album I've become resigned to the fact that The Beach Boys would amount to nothing more than a nostalgic act. This belief was confirmed with the follow-ups L.A. Light Album and saccharine-enriched Keeping The Summer Alive. The sporadic recordings released afterward were mere exercises and reaffirmations of a legacy that was cemented decades before.
    Now out of the clear blue California sky the reconstituted, reformed band that includes resident genius Brian Wilson releases an album to coincide with their current world tour.
    Their recent history suggested that an album, let alone a world tour would have never been considered, but it did.
    My expectations were low. Suffering through the debacle that was Summer In Paradise, a horrible shlock-filled effort that even makes the band's most hardcore fans shudder, more of the same would evolve and envelope this album as well. Turns out I'm only partially right. â
  5. Jun 7, 2012
    For the full review of the Beach Boys' latest, check out the Manik Music site!

    No matter how much I try to make my mind bend around it, thereâ
  6. Jun 5, 2012
    If you would have told me a year ago that The Beach Boys would be releasing a NEW album in 2012 with Brian Wilson writing and producing (and David Marks rejoining), I wouldn't have believed you. I am very impressed with what the Boys have given us. With 8 out of the 12 songs ranging from good to great, thats a solid percentage if you ask me. The other 4 (Private Life of Bill and Sue, Shelter, Daybreak Over The Ocean and Beaches in Mind) are not even that bad, they are just kind of bland and forgettable. The great ones? "Isn't It Time" is's one of those songs that is memorable the FIRST TIME YOU HEAR IT. Aside from some cheeseball lyrics, "Spring Vacation" has excellent twists and turns to it. The single "That's Why God Made the Radio" feels like an old hit at this point since its been out for a couple months and it's just fine. The final 4 songs of the album (Strange World, From There To Back Again, Pacific Coast Highway and Summer's Gone) are a splendid way to close out the album. All of the songs dip deep into that great Brian Wilson world of melancholy and loneliness that he is so fond of. If you are a Beach Boys fan, I highly recommend you pick this up. It's not perfect but seriously...aside from Pet Sounds, EVERY Beach Boys album had some stinkers you had to skip past to get to the great stuff. Go pick it up ASAP! Expand
  7. Jun 12, 2012
    This is an album that is mainly for fans of nostalgia. I personally cannot get excited about Brian and company (guys in their 60's and early 70's) singing about cruisin', spring vacation, going steady, dancing the night away (etc). This sort of lyrical content is just lazy and is hardly believable. The guys fare better musically, though too many moments are just retreads of the type of melody that Jimmy Buffett specializes in. The songs that work best are the three that close the album. With this melancholy mini-suite, the album finally reaches a point of some lyrical depth and musical sophistication. From what I've been reading, these three tracks are not even new. They apparently date back to 1998. Brian still had it then, but on the newer stuff Brian and his collaborators don't really seem to be trying. Perhaps if The Beach Boys had spent more time putting the album together--maybe even brought in Van Dyke Parks for assistance with the lyrics--the end result would have been something closer to "wonderful" instead of just "it's okay". Expand

See all 11 User Reviews