Live At The Roxy Theatre
On his first live solo album, recorded at Hollywood's famed Sunset Strip club, the Roxy, the great California pop composer is generous with the spotlight: He praises his ten-piece band, which re-creates classic Beach Boys instrumentals such as "Let's Go Away for Awhile" and "Pet Sounds," and honors Phil Spector, the creator of Wilson's "favorite record in the universe," "Be My Baby," which is covered here. Wilson also lets some of his singers take his falsetto parts, which is probably a consequence of the years of wear on his voice. Still, there's a refreshing lack of hubris and real sense of fun here, from faithful takes of "Good Vibrations" and "God Only Knows" to latter-day gems like "Lay Down Burden." We should all be grateful that Brian Wilson is even functioning, much less enjoying this late-career high.