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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 10. 23rd May 1973

"Holland" — The Beach Boys

"Holland" — The Beach Boys

"Holland" is the album the Beach Boys have been threatening us with ever since "Pet Sounds". The vocal and instrumental complexity that marked that album, and which reappeared briefly on "Sunflower and "Surf's Up" has returned, justifying a long-held belief, bolstered by the fact that rock pundits paid undue attention even to the group's blunders, that the Beach Boys were capable of producing a superb album. Through 10 years of recordings the group has struck with their own sound, which, while remaining distinctive, has shown a remarkable capacity for growth and "Holland" is the full blooming of that style's potential.

In deference to the influence that Brian Wilson has had on the group, "Holland" opens and closes with two songs that he co-authored: 'Sail On, Sailor' and 'Funky Pretty' — both incline towards a type of baroque chamber rock and are prime examples of his art.

Besides that, each member of the group has contributed at least one song, outstanding among which is the single, 'California', penned by Alan Jardine, which comprises the third section of the California Trilogy, the album's centrepiece. It incorporated everything good the Beach Boys have ever done: from the shattering introductory harmonies (Get out of the way Crosby, Stilles et all: let real professionals show you how it's done!) to the tasty banjo-pedal steel- banjo meshings right down to the solid rhythm patterns.

Fine as "Holland" is, however, I do have reservations, not the least of which is about the heavy-handed quasi-poetic recitation that fleshes out 'Bears of Eagles'. The other is that some of the lyrics don't quite slot in with the music comfortably, a trait continued from "Surf's Up", but these are really only minor consideration within the album's conceptual framework.

Also included with the package is a seven inch tripper's fairy tale, written by Brian and narrated by Jack Rieley, the group's manager. It's o.k. if you like that sort of thing, but a bore if you don't. Brian's incidental music is interesting though.