This comprehensive 25 track album “The music and healing of Brian Wilson” by Greg Luzitano, is a remake of Brian Wilson’s best known songs, compiled in one body of work, to be released as a new album.
Here, we review them all! For the best listening experience this great piece of celebration of music sounds best on Apple Music and Tidal.
Track 1: “Wouldn’t it be nice”
This song, – and the whole album – feels fresh and energetic, this opener track stands easily as a cover, but more accurately as a remake, (since it’s as true to the original as possible), which easily conveys the magic that Wilson brought to his songs. Greg Luzitano has met and exceeded the bar, where the instrumentation is on point and the famous, high register vocals up in the alto or mezzo range, (in Brian’s vocal sweet spot), also known as supported falsetto. No easy task then. Greg Luzitano effortlessly pulls it off, we know it’s not the original, but you can’t help thinking it’s so close, and that is the point; the magic shines through!
Track 2: “This whole world”
Another Brian Wilson timeless track; complete with multi-layered harmonious, supporting vocals, where Greg flows with the lead vocals and pinpoints the main melody with ease. Demanding good vocal chops – this song leads with them – it is no doubt a challenge. Where the instruments supporting the melodic theme roll along easily, and the vocals roll with that ‘head voice’, that is so difficult to do well. This is where Greg Luzitano shines.
Track 3: “In my Room”
A ballad, a slow dance song from a summer outdoors concert, is it possible to feel the heat? These types of songs need care and plenty of finesse, the slower tempos leave lots of space to hold and express each note – until fade out even, and the vocals, as in this song, sung in a soft lilt that bounces between the ones amongst the threes. Greg Luzitano ticks all the boxes and then some, with this remake. Not an easy thing to do, despite how easy it rolls.
Track 4: “Add some music”
This track features duet vocals from Kayla Williams. It’s quite astounding how this instantly sounds ‘more’ retro, as if it was legitimately from that ‘studio sound’ in that old era; the female duet vocals fit so perfectly with Greg Luzitanos vocals. This makes you feel the message: Add some music! This would fit the beach bar, playing on the sound system, while relaxing after surfing. Perfect.
Track 5: “Let the wind blow”
With only a guitar and vocals, this track is stripped back and bare, at quite an easy pace: this is where Brian breaks out of his head voice and into true falsetto, peaking in the choruses, then back into more regular territory in the verses. To say this track is well remade is an understatement.
Track 6: “Don’t worry baby”
Greg Luzitano really has some raw energy to work with here, in this acapella rendition, which serves to highlight the skill and precision needed to get these songs with unaccompanied singing in the pocket and harmonious delight. Worth checking for the skills alone!
Track 7: Darlin’.
A fun love song compiled of a vocal and a guitar track; would work great at a campfire, showcasing the sense of right tempo and a straight delivery – this is how any musician should be able to perform off stage.
Track 8: ‘Goin’ on’. (feat. Zach Wolfe)
With more swagger, this song has a mid-tempo beach bar vibe, where Zach Wolfe provides the harmony and counterpoint to the lead vocals of Greg Luzitano. It is an easy, light-hearted song where the melody and lyrics give voice to missing a loved one – and ‘Going on’ from there. An effortless remake, all production and instrumentation is of that ‘period’ feel.
Track 9: “The night was so young”
It is a laid back song, almost like a ballad that builds into that classic low key 70s vibe. Perfect.
Track 10: “Help me Rhonda”
One of Brian Wilson’s most recognised songs; here Greg Luzitano has no trouble to re-imagine the feel, the vibe and the energy that the original projected so well. Even the studio sound is as it should be: dry vocals and a barber shop counterpoint – all sit so easily together with the band, the keys and guitar especially. The magic shines through!
Track 11: “Our Sweet love”
Vocals and guitar track, a ballad of a kind, stripped down and simple. Sounds like a room concert, delivered straight to the listener. A strong artistic presence strengthens the song up.
Track 12: “Soulful Old Man Sunshine”
A full band song: upbeat and rocking out: great vocal harmonies, and one of the greatest radio-friendly, day-enlightening track from the album; easy to imagine it in a commercial or as a soundtrack.
Track 13: “Sail on Sailor”
Once again a full band song: bass guitar is the main driving element, complete with that dry studio sound, vocals as always, on point. The whole thing feels indeed original and credible.
Track 14: “Till I die”
Layered vocals and steel keys start the song, where the band fires up only in the last quarter of this track. It is an odd arrangement, close to, and unique to its lyrical content – a ballad, introspective.
Track 15: “Sloop John”
In classic story mode, this 3 minutes track only gets going after the 2nd third. Simple, but somehow extremely memorable; superbly represented here.
Track 16: “Busy doing nothing”
Guitar and vocals in more of a jazzy style, of course in barber shop mode later on; light and easy going.
Track 17: “Time to get Alone”
This is a near lullaby, in an easy swing that rolls so well. Again a perfect choice as a soundtrack; the whole song is overfilled with pure joy and clean melodies – truly recalls good memories from the past.
Track 18: “God only knows”
Brian is well known for his quirky arrangements, and this track is no different: with an instantly recognisable lilt and pace with that harpsichord staccato to pin the refrain – it’s also complete with Brian’s supported falsetto style. This is where Greg Luzitano sits in parallel with Brian, convincingly re-telling this classic song.
Track 19: “Our Prayer”
It’s a hymnal acapella at its best. Somewhat an oddity, but that was the nature of Brian. No surprises then.
Track 20: “Wonderful”
A less well known song, but an unmistakable Wilson track, and another effortless render by Greg Luzitano. A refreshing choice in the album, somewhat reminiscent to some Beatles/McCartney performances.
Track 21: “Look (song for children)”
Like a step way back to the era of Mozart and orchestral music, with a modern (back then) twist of pop. Crazy, but it works!
Track 22: “Child is father of the man”
Starting like a ballad, but quickly moving into a Zappa realm. This track is nothing but interesting. It breaks up this album’s flow, much like the waves on a beach – an interesting, deep track.
Track 23: “Surf’s up”
Piano forte starts, with orchestral backing. Different from the usual band, not before breaking into a more jazzy mode, with insanely high falsetto peaks thrown liberally around, but underscored with an experimental arrangement.
Track 24: “Good vibrations”
An absolute classic Brian Wilson track, done so well by Greg Luzitano with such incredible feel and precision that the listener is transported into the very real, but fond realm of a bygone era. Worth a listen just to revisit this good vibe, but also, to marvel at the real and outstanding talent that is Greg Luzitano. It’s a good day when music and songs speak to you, as these do.
Track 25: “Caroline”
To finish the album on a reflective note, this ‘come down’ tune brings us, listeners down on a soft landing. It is so lush. Perfect.
The era of the ‘70s studio sound’ and Brian Wilson’s song-smithing revisited; an album where Greg Luzitano successfully achieves the lofty heights (especially vocally) and captures the sound of surf and the after-bar hangout vibe, with all the sunshine and freedom that went hand in hand with these songs. Listen to this in album order, and roll with the fresh waves. It is a great summer album for every music-lover and great tracks for mainstream playlists and radio stations. Of course, “The music and healing of Brian Wison” by Greg Luzitano is a good choice to listen on the road as well.
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