Style: Classic Americana, lush harmonies and strings; Gershwin meets the Beach Boys
Top tracks: "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So," "S'Wonderful"
"I believe that music is God's voice," says Brian Wilson, one of the great American composers of the second half of the 20th century. George Gershwin, one of the great U.S. composers of the first half, may have agreed, but his music (and brother Ira's lyrics) was frequently God-haunted if not outright inspired. Wilson, founder of the Beach Boys and whose album, Pet Sounds, famously made Paul McCartney weep for its stunning musicality, here "reimagines" Gershwin with 14 superb covers of his best work—including two never-before-published Gershwin songs, "The Like in I Love You" and "Nothing But Love," which were among more than 100 piano demos the Gershwin estate made available to Wilson. Now 68—and with a voice beginning to warble—Wilson calls this album "the most spiritual project I've ever worked on."
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