The idea of Brian Wilson sitting down and reinterpreting some of his old Beach Boys and solo songs sounds earth-shattering, but this LP, made in conjunction with the film of the same name, is just modest fun more than any great historic ruby. Without the help of his famous brothers and cousin, Wilson downsizes compositions such as Pet Sounds' "Caroline, No," 20/20's "Do It Again," (with his celebrity daughters of Wilson Phillips, Carnie and Wendy replicating the original harmonies), and Wild Honey's "Let the Wind Blow." This makes for enjoyable listening for any committed fan, and the best thing here, a new look at the 1964 single "Warmth of the Sun," even achieves a new, slower, more glum feel. Elsewhere, redos of "Love and Mercy" and "Melt Away" off Wilson's 1988 self-titled solo LP seem less steeped in over-nostalgia, breathing fresh life in them. But I Just Wasn't is no major revelation; much better to have seen the reclusive man perform these in person at two private October New York shows or, failing such an appearance, see him sing in the movie.
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AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid