Thursday, August 11, 2005

Song For Children-Brian Wilson

As part of my celebration of the second live performance I have seen of Brian Wilson's SMiLE, I chose this particular track because it reveals so much about how things changed from the days of the Beach Boys bootlegs and how the final album matured so much.

Song for Children began as an instrumental melody called Look. Look is a lovely track. It began with a keyboard and a beautiful horn flourish followed by bass stuff and a very high-pitched mallet percussion melody with different percussive and tubic punctuations. It's a beautiful piece. For the final SMiLE version, several things changed without the structure and melody being altered. First, the piece was placed thematically in the second suite - centred on children. Second, the piece was directly hooked to the previous track Wonderful through the ingeneious transition of Wonderful->Won->One->Wonderful. It's so great. Third, the thematic link of Child is the father of the son was brought back lyrically. The song is not so much a single lyrical message, as a combination of all the songs in the suite. By adding the words and the thematic links to other parts of SMiLE, the song is a million times better. Even though it isn't the same level of masterpiece as Cabinessence, Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villains, or Surf's Up, I think this is the quintissential SMiLE track.