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Wilson's "In The Key Of Disney" Reviewed

If the kick against Brian Wilson is that he isn't recording his own material any more, the truth of the matter is the last time Wilson was on his game songwriting was his same named solo debut in 1988 and the subsequent boots.

A long time ago and stuff like Imagination and That Lucky Sun were not good albums, plain and simple.

That takes nothing away from his many achievements, or for that matter, the best parts of last years Reimagining Gershwin. Some of Gershwin was his best new work of the decade but while the absolutely lovely In The Key Of Disney, does not peak as high as "Rhapsody In Blue (Intro)" the harmonies at the end of the song off the "Dumbo" soundtrack, "Baby Of Mine" will remind you why we are all here.

Everything here is lovely and simple re-thinking of Disney classics and quasi classics with deep harmonies, doo wop backgrounds, spritely and gorgeous orchestrations and Brian Wilson channeling his inner Carl Wilson. The net effect is a "We Belong Together" that switches Randy Newman's croaky voice for Wilson's lithe compassion. He could be singing to his wife or kids… or even us. It is a sincere pleasure.

Disney have had the loveliest songs, and they also tug at your memory. You whistle why you work and at the time it triggers memories of your childhood. And if you're a child, you know this song as well. Whatever Disney might be, a corporate monther that owns ESPN and ABC Network and horrid theme parks, still they have a connection to cthe child in us deeper than Pixars. Longer. And it is a good match for Wilson; he grew up singing about teenagerdom and Santa Clause and surf and the ebulliant joys of youth. This was his territory. Before the drugs, he used his powers to make us happy. He does so here.

The thing is, if Wilson can't or doesn't want to write original material any more, better Disney than Imagination. Indeed, that doesn't do my feelings about this album justice. It isn't either or, this is wonderful, lovely, fun and buoyant stuff: "The Bare Neccessities", "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" "Kiss the Girl" and a deep and touching "When You Wish Upon A Star" need to excuse. An excellent album.

Grade: A

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