To each his own, but in my opinion, 'The Beach Boys (1985)' is better and more inspired than 'Keepin' The Summer Alive'. I've listened to them again today and I stick with my opinion.
The title track's bridge is pretty ok, but other than that I think it's terrible. Stupid computerised backing vocals and what about the ending, when Carl literally repeats the chorus for more than one minute?! 'Oh Darlin'' is about the same to me : ruined by the backing vocals during the chorus. I also dislike the instrumental. 'Some of Your Love' is decent enough, but I wish they would have left out the sax. Especially in the intro..it's just so random. And just like the title track, it's way too repetitive. 'Livin' With a Heartache' has a good Carl lead, but to me, it sounds lifeless, boring and monotonous. Maybe I'm not a fan of the genre. At least 'Full Sail' had some emotion attached to it, even though not very inspired musically. It had a calm and warm feeling, while 'Living With a Heartache' seems to be going nowhere and leaves me completely cold. But it's the best of the Carl-lead songs. 'School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)'. No comment. Just why? 'Goin' On' is a good song, but I've never thought of it as something special. It's the best song on the album, but not something exceptional. 'Sunshine' is very weird. I don't even know what to think of it. The backing vocals are extremely uninspired and Mike's voice sounds weird. 'When Girls Get Together' is another song I really dislike. Same as 'Living With A Heartache', it's lifeless, boring and monotonous. 'Santa Ana Winds' is decent enough. 'Endless Harmony', while not having the best lyrics, has a great ending and possibly one of the best moments on the album.
As I've said in the previous post, I think, though eclipsed by the terrible production, 'The Beach Boys (1985)' has greater material. There are some painful moments, like the never-ending 'Passing Friend' or that lead guitar in 'Maybe I Don't Know' which is totally unfit for a Beach Boys song (like many other things on the album, for that matter). But there are some songs there I really enjoy. IMO, both 'It's Gettin' Late' and 'Where I Belong' are great Carl compositions, way better than anything he wrote on 'Keepin' The Summer Alive'. 'Where I Belong' has a great atmosphere and the harmonies on the chorus are just heavenly. 'Getcha Back' is another song I like, though I admit it's not that good of a song. I didn't know it was a ripoff of a Bruce Springsteen song. 'She Believes In Love Again' is , in my opinion, better than 'Endless Harmony' and a guilty pleasure of mine. I even enjoy 'Male Ego' and 'It's Just a Matter Of Time' though I hate Brian's lead on the former and the stupid harmonica on the second. The remainder is pretty weak.
But all in all, I think both albums are weak and uninspired compared to any of their 70's efforts and once you become a Beach Boys fan and you learn more about the band's history, it becomes easier to understand why some of their albums suck. I mean, Brian and Dennis were both a wreck during the making of the former and album, and for the latter, Dennis was no longer alive and Brian was manipulated by Landy. But of course, that's no excuse. Carl, Mike, Bruce and Al could've definitely come up with something better.
But still, 'Summer in Paradise' is much, much worse. It's pure garbage. Apart from the nice cover art, absolutely everything about that album is terrible.
Can't wait to hear it.
I've watched the 'Summer Of Love' video some while ago and I thought it was hillarious. What the hell was Mike thinking?
P.S. Sorry for the long post. I'm bored at home...