Review: Surfin’ U.S.A.

With their first album Surfin’ Safari, The Beach Boys started the ball rolling on what would lead to a legendary career. But it wasn’t until their second album, Surfin’ U.S.A. that they would pick up proper momentum. A force that wouldn’t dwindle for the rest of the decade.

Surfin’ Safari is a charming but imperfect album that shows a band with a lot of promise. But when you compare it to the bands follow up Surfin’ U.S.A., it is very clear that it is inferior in every way. The bands second album takes what they did on their first and improves on it in nearly every way. Not only do the band have a better production, but they have clearly improved as musicians, singers and sound considerably tighter.

Those looking for a great example of how good this album is, look no further than the Surfin’ U.S.A. titled track. A great rock n roll number with an incredibly infectious chorus. At this point, any old school rock and pop fan knows this one and will find themselves singing along on instinct alone. Other notable songs are a Shutdown and Let’s Go Tippin’. The instrumental, Honky Tonk and the great cover of Misirlou, is the perfect example of the bands musical ability. You’ll find a great solid rhythm section and some excellent guitar playing in both rhythm and lead.

Naturally, the most recognisable feature on the record is the vocal harmonies. That specific trademark sound is very much alive on Surfin’ U.S.A. and it really brings out a lot of character in the record. There has never been a band who could harmonise that these boys could and it is without any doubt the albums biggest highlight.

Surfin’ U.S.A. is still held back by the surfer gimmick. It is without a doubt a little tacky by today’s standards. However, the band have a lot of energy and they put it to good use with these solid consistent rockin’ songs. It may be a bit on the short side, but it doesn’t really matter. Not when the music is this good.

Rating : 9 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Surfin' U.S.A.
  2. Farmer's Daughter
  3. Misirlou
  4. Stoked
  5. Lonely Sea
  6. Shut Down
  7. Noble Surfer
  8. Honky Tonk
  9. Lana
  10. Surf Jam
  11. Let's Go Trippin'
  12. Finders Keepers