Review: Brian Wilson – No Pier Pressure
 (Capitol / Universal Music Canada)

Brian WilsonWhen the first notes of album-opener “This Beautiful Day” hits the speakers, with its sublime harmonies recalling The Beach Boys’ track “Our Prayer,” expectations are set high for what’s to come. And that is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of No Pier Pressure, the latest album from Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Rather than Wilson playing to his strengths as a pop songwriter, he instead detours through mediocrity and kitsch on numerous tracks, welcoming guests like She & Him, fun.’s Nate Ruess, and producer Sebu to create some of the album’s low points. Perhaps not coincidentally, many of the album’s highlights, including “The Last Song,” “Tell Me Why,” and “What Ever Happened,” either feature Wilson on his own or accompanied by Beach Boys alumni like Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin and David Marks.