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A Postcard From California

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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A Postcard From California
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Audio CD, April 3, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 reissue of this collection from the longtime Beach Boys member. A Postcard from California, was largely penned by Al Jardine and features a regular "who's who" of classic rock and popular music royalty. Jardine was joined in the studio by a steady and willing stream of famous friends, including Neil Young, Brian Wilson (and all the Beach Boys), Steve Miller, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Glen Campbell, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of America, Alec Baldwin and John Stamos. Jardine's sons, Matt and Adam, are also heard on vocal harmonies. The twelve-song collection includes four cuts that comprise what Jardine calls "the green side" of the new album, compositions that speak to the relationship of man and his environment. "Don't Fight the Sea," "Tidepool Interlude" and "A California Saga" are songs that reflect this artist's deep love for the California coastline and his concern for the ecological health of the planet. "I think this material defines the new project in these days of climate change," he suggests.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Waterfront Records
  • ASIN: B005HWUB4Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,346 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
So I purchased Al's new CD via Amazon download. I had listened to the demos a while back and to be honest, I wasn't real fond of them. Based on the time it took to be released and the fact that it wasn't being issued as an official CD, it seemed like it had disaster written all over it. Plus I wasn't sure what kind of shape Al's voice would be in because I never considered him as one of the stronger vocalists in the group. Well, I'm happy to say that I could not have been any more wrong. With 'Postcard' Al paints a beautiful picture of California and it is obvious how much he loves the Golden State. Most of the album seems to flow effortlesssly from track to track with the running theme being Al's awe of California and it's beauty. Whereas Brian always painted a picture of California that made you want to grab a board and go party with all the other kids there, Al always seemed to paint the other relaxed side of California. A side that made you want to take a slow ride around the coast with the love of your life while watching a beautiful California sunset. I have listened to this CD six or seven times now and my only complaint would be the lack of new material on it (half of the tracks are Beach Boys tunes.) That said, even his re-workings of the old songs turned out great (and better than the originals in most cases.)

If you have been thinking about getting this one I would strongly suggest you do (The song "Don't Fight The Sea", featuring Mike, Brian, Carl, Al, and Bruce is worth the price of the CD in my opinion.) The writing is great, Al's voice sounds great, and the harmonies are in top form.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Al Jardine's many devoted fans have been patiently waiting for quite a long time to hear "A Postcard From California" and I firmly believe that the end result is well worth any perceived delays. This album not only showcases the appreciable talents of Jardine himself, but also presents the listener with an impressive line-up of stellar guests, many of whom have had a long association with The Beach Boys. Not only did Al successfully garner the participation of surviving band mates Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks, but he also managed to include the heavenly voice of the late Carl Wilson. Even Glen Campbell (briefly a Beach Boy himself) adds immeasurably to the title cut and he's just one of several other music industry luminaries who delight the listener. But this isn't about The Beach Boys, it's about Jardine and his own ability to create something truly special.

The first seven tracks are woven together into what I would call a "suite" that flows from song to song, paying homage along the way to Jardine's beloved California. My personal feeling is that this is the heart of the album and is a standalone work, in and of itself. In these tracks one can find a deep love for, and appreciation of, this remarkable state and what I appreciated most was the timeless nature of the writing. While the title cut takes us back to the post-World War II time period, and to the origins of how the Jardine family ended up emigrating from Ohio, the very next song brings us to the beauty one can find here today. "California Feeling" is one of those long lost Beach Boys songs that were only recently released officially, first by Brian Wilson in 2002 and now by Al. What captured me was how the same song could be interpreted in two such different ways.
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Format: Audio CD
...I won't repeat the obvious; this is a GREAT album... I kinda knew Al Jardine had the "real" Beach Boy vibe in him (evidenced by the recent live releases)... but I never dreamed he had THIS MUCH... totally blown away by this release. The fact that did a "Threetles" (Paul, George & Ringo "recording" with John Lennon for The Anthology) as he revived tracks recorded decades ago and treated us to Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston and more was a power packed bonus.

Here's where, imho, some Amazon reviewers missed the point. More than one have stated that once the remaked "Help Me Rhonda" kicked in, it was downhill. What you didn't get was that this is, for all purposes, a concept album... Notice the history of the disovery and move to the golden paradise called California is detailed in each subsequent song... Then, at least I believe, once the entire panorama is developed, Al humbly acknowledges that, thanks to The Beach Boys, the rest of us in America (and the world for that matter) were treated to "California in Sound" through the magic of Brian Wilson & Company... and what better way to make that point than with "Help Me Rhonda"?... Even more proof of Jardine's witty musical intelligence is the fact that, instead of redoing the song in the already-well-known-version, presents it with a lacksidaisical California vibe... from there on; "The Beach Boys" own the show and bring it home... and if he decided to end it all with a "love letter" to the love of his life, more power to him, as she probably was the "woman-behind-the-man" who encouraged him all those years to keep on surfin'... With this song he neatly tied a beautiful red bow on this gorgeous musical package... Thank you Al Jardine!
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Question about # of tracks
Relax the CD has all 15 tracks
Apr 4, 2012 by Mr. Kenneth H. Hallock |  See all 2 posts
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