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Wilson Phillips - California - Insipid, perfect, pop

2006-03-29 19:10

The cover says it all. It's like a slightly sexed up page in a furniture store catalogue - with the songstresses sprawled all over each other on the couch in the sunlight, made up to a flawless powdery finish. You'd swear all their time was taken up with facials, make up sessions, and brushing each others soap opera hair. But no! The three girls - daughters of music industry royalty - have recorded an album they say is dedicated to California.

"It's the songs of the girls on the beach, the girls in convertibles whipping down Pacific Coast Highway; the young girls coming to the canyon; the girls of myth, a myth that radio wrought and everyone bought" it says in the sleeve. But the thing is, it's not. There's very little to do with girls on it at all.

What's really on the album? Wilson Phillips cover a pretty diverse set of artists who share some common musical strands and have certainly shared many a dressing room - Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Pete Seeger... all of whom were distinguished not just by very different songwriting styles but also by the fact that nobody sang their songs quite like they could sing them themselves.

Unfortunately for Wilson Phillips, this is still the case. True to form, the girls do a flawless job of regurgitating and watering down the selection of "California" tunes, with all the rough edges and much of the power of the songs harmonised prettily out of existence. Of course, this insipid vocal syrup is precisely what Wilson Phillips fans love Wilson Phillips for, so perhaps the girls are er... just doing their job.

- Jean Barker


"It's taken them this long to pick up the reigns (sic) of their career and they've taken the easy option. Yes, it's a covers album but a covers album devoid of any risks."

The sun-drenched perkiness pervading these tracks may be standard Wilson Phillips, but credit legendary producer Peter Asher with maintaining a sandcastle-smooth sound throughout.
- Tammy La Gorce,

A very slick collection of covers from the wholesome pop trio. You can imagine it making a perfect soundtrack for a slow-plotted chick made-for-TV flick about mother-daughter bonding.

LizaD 2004/07/27 2:12 PM
revoltingly sweet They remind me of those chocolates that have too much sugar. you get excited because you're expecting the taste of chocolate, and then it's this horrible cloying effect and you want to rinse your mouth out with salt. Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
Flea 2004/07/27 2:18 PM
Yuck They shoudl change their name to "Blondes for Voluntary Frontal Lobotomy" Eastlife - even more shit and stupid than this
Fan 2004/07/28 10:37 AM
Five Stars If you don't like this band you just dont no anything about GOOD MUZAK THANK YOU!!!
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