The Beach Boys

Keepin' the Summer Alive

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By the end of the '70s, the Beach Boys were turning into a novelty act with their live shows and spewing forth easily forgettable records. One would have hoped that with the emergence of a new decade the group would have adapted a fresh outlook and returned to its former levels of creativity. They did adapt a new way of looking at things, but it just wasn't the right one. Keepin' the Summer Alive isn't just a low point of the band's career, it is the low point. Ripe with mindless throwaways and lifeless filler, Keepin' the Summer Alive is the sound of a group earnestly trying to hang on to the last fibers of popularity it accumulated during the mid-'70s. A mindless, predictable rendition of "School Days" does nothing to pick things up and is easily forgettable, as is most of the record. The two exceptions to the rule reside in the title track and the closing "Endless Harmony." "Endless" could have been a hauntingly beautiful piece had they not tacked on the last minute of the song, where they decided it was a good idea to thank America for letting them tour her majestic plains. It's hard to believe this album was recorded by the same group that gave the world such brilliance almost 15 years prior with Pet Sounds. Avoid this one at all costs -- unless you are looking to increase your ironic-quotient index.

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