Wilson Phillips – Dedicated – Album Review
By Anthony Marcusa
Twenty years of creating and performing memorable music, Wilson Phillips, the long-stranding trio of powerful female singers, has returned to give thanks and to honor the great bands that influenced them.
‘Dedicated,’ their new release, an 11-song album that recreates some of most famous songs of decades past, made by familial artists, is a thoroughly enjoyable, harmonious, and inspired pop vocal interpretation of classic pieces. However, the album is more than just a collection of covers, it is a spectrum of songs created by the respective musical parents of Wilson Phillips and reinvented by their equally talented offspring.
John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, the parents of Chynna Phillips and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, father of Wendy and Carnie Wilson, are both well-honoured in ‘Dedicated”, with ‘California Dreamin’’ and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice?’ leading the way. Leading would be an apt term, as the songs seem perfectly placed, almost as if telling a tale.
Arguably one of the most stirring yet delightful songs ever composed by Brian Wilson, ‘God Only Knows,’ is surely the best song on the album, and the penultimate one. The original song itself is nearly perfect and everlasting, and allows itself to be easily replicated without losing its heart, but Wilson Phillips bring to it much more emotion and care, making it a standout on ‘Dedicated.’
The bittersweet piece gives way to ‘Good Vibrations’ to close out the album, which seems more an epilogue were this album a story. It is a curious piece, with fingers-snapping and a chorus of ‘bop-bops,’ and a fun way to rejoice at end of the album. Beach Boys, ‘Don’t Worry Baby,’ will make you sway and swoon, while ‘I Can Hear Music,’ the sixth track, offers an inspired climax in the middle of the arc of the album.
To the Phillips’ credit, ‘Dedicated to the One I Love,’ ‘Monday Monday,’ ‘Got a Feelin,’’ are all given their deserved regard in an album featuring songs everyone loves to sing, from the talented voices of two very talented musical families.