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The Clay County Advocate - Press-Flora, IL
  • The Farr Side: ‘Dedicated’ has big hits, and a few misses

  • Wilson Phillips’ latest album truly is “Dedicated” to the ones they love.

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  • Wilson Phillips’ latest album truly is “Dedicated” to the ones they love. 
    The female trio is back with a new set of old favorites — songs we know and love.
    “Dedicated” is the group’s first studio album since the close of “Bridesmaids” last summer when they performed their ’90s anthem, “Hold On,” in the film. 
    The album features songs best known from their parents’ heyday. Chynna Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and Carnie and Wendy Wilson are daughters of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson.
    Tackling the repertoire of either classic group is no small feat, but these girls have bloodlines to the magic.
    “Dedicated” opens with “California Dreamin’.” It’s a classic, for sure, and has been re-recorded numerous times by such artists as R.E.M., Wes Montgomery, Bobby Womack and Queen Latifah. But it was the original that put John and Michelle, Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty on the musical map.
    I’m just OK with the Wilson Phillips version. I was expecting more, but it’s a big song for anyone to top.
    “Dedicated To The One I Love” is a different story. This is the Wilson Phillips I remember: Harmonies and vocal togetherness illustrated beautifully.
    “Monday Monday” suits the group well, too, as do “Got A Feelin’” and “Twelve Thirty.”
    It’s more difficult to cover a Beach Boys song and not look like you’re trying to do a Beach Boys song.  That’s the genius behind Brian Wilson’s legacy. That being said, the girls managed to pull it off a couple of times.
    One of my all-time favorites is “Don’t Worry Baby” and that’s just what I was doing (worrying) until the track played. It’s great.  The harmonies are there and it worked.
    I can say the same for “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “I Can Hear Music,” although I would have liked them to bring something new to the table with those songs.
    “God Only Knows” was the kind of song that could have brought them back to the charts had it been updated musically. Its lyrics are timeless, but sadly, the song sounds old here.
    To me, the best track of the album is the closer, an a cappella interpretation of “Good Vibrations.” It definitely gave me some excitations. 
    I’m happy Wilson Phillips is recording again, aside from their recent Christmas albums. Now it’s time to make new music and perhaps hold on for yet another day.
    David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. Email him at  farrboy@hotmail.com. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.
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