Track by track/The Beach Boys – Shut Down, Vol. II

Shut Down, Vol. II (1964-Capitol)

  1. Fun Fun Fun – With new competition from England, this catchy classic suggests a return to form. Note the tinnier, muddier sounding mix and weird stereo though.
  2. Don’t Worry, Baby – One of everyone’s favorites. Very much inspired by the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” I love the mix of typical ballad lyrics with drag racing references. A solid 1-2 intro here.
  3. In the Parkin’ Lot – The album loses steam here with a song that is merely OK.
  4. Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson – And then loses even more steam with this “comedy” bit.
  5. The Warmth of the Sun – And then Brian delivers this paralyzingly beautiful ballad inspired by the death of JFK. Where did that come from?
  6. This Car of Mine – The previous album may have succeeded if it had a few songs like this one. Catchy.
  7. Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Pretty decent doo wop.
  8. Pom Pom Play Girl – Maybe a tad distasteful, but what about those wild jazzy harmonies?
  9. Keep an Eye on Summer – Another 6/8 ballad with jazzy harmonies.
  10. Shut Down, Pt. 2 – A guitar instrumental that I’m pretty sure includes an early and very ahead-of-its-time use of a Leslie speaker.
  11. Louie Louie – Not just a “Louie Louie” cover but a bad one.
  12. Denny’s Drums? Like drum solos? You probably won’t like this one, because it isn’t very good.

This is an odd duck of an album. I think this marks original guitarist Al Jardine’s return to the band and the first time he appeared on record, which is a good thing. At times this album is a return to form, but at other times it is pure laziness, and it is still nowhere near the perfection of Surfer Girl, and this certainly isn’t the masterpiece that “Fun Fun Fun” and “Don’t Worry, Baby” deserve to kick off. B-

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