When you think about it, Beach Boys fans haven’t heard any original beach music for almost 30 years now (and the band really dissolved with Carl Wilson’s death in 1998). Al Jardine has kept the sound and legacy of the band alive through the years. I don’t know why it took this long for a talented pro like Jardine to get out a solo album, but I’m glad he did it.
Jardine finally looks back lovingly at his Beach Boy years on A Postcard From California. He got an impressive list of guest superstars helping him out including Neil Young, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Steve Miller, Glen Campbell, Gerry Beckley & Dewey Bunnell (America) and even the remaining Beach Boys, David Marks and Brian Wilson. So if you’re looking for a band reunion, this is the closest you’ll get.
Starting with “A Postcard From California” it’s a got a touch of “Sloop John B” (with Campbell’s vocals joining in on the chorus). Fans will flip for “Don’t Fight The Sea” which is a real “lost” Beach Boys track with Mike, Brian, Al, Bruce and even Carl in vintage form. Other original standouts, “Looking Down The Coast” and “San Simeon” with Gerry Buckley, each song has those famous harmonies and the tracks connect seamlessly into each other. The not so good news here is the remakes of old BB material with guest stars that are hit and miss. But overall Beach Boys fans will enjoy Al’s ability to craft a California atmosphere and fitting tribute to his years as a musician.