George Gershwin reinvented by The Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson

This weekend, Southbank Centre welcomes The Beach Boys frontman and songwriter Brian Wilson to Royal Festival Hall. As well as performing the hits from his Beach Boy days, Brian will also showcase his critically acclaimed album ‘Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin’. Here’s what the critics have to say:

He turns ‘Summertime’ into a doo-wop ballad, tricks out ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ with brass and lush harmonies, and teleports ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ from Broadway to sun-splashed California. The result is Porgy and Bess-meets-Pet Sounds: lovely, weird, subtly psychedelic symphonic lounge music. By the time the album ends with a gorgeous, string-laden rendition of the main theme from ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ you can’t help but ask: Is Brian Wilson the baby-boomer George Gershwin? Or was Gershwin the first Beach Boy?

Rolling Stone

A winning collection of songs and arrangements done with great style.
It’s only right to be sceptical when approaching this album. Just how has Brian Wilson, former leading light of The Beach Boys, approached these songs that have, largely, been covered so many times since they were written back in the 1920s and 30s? But any qualms are soon dispelled by his engaging performances and the imaginative arrangements, ones that remain faithful to the spirit of their melodic and harmonic core values.

BBC Music

See Brian Wilson at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall 16 – 18 September 2011. Get tickets here.