Al Jardine, if you're reading this, please take a seat here among your friends. All I see is a room full of people who love you like crazy, but they're afraid they're losing you. They're scared because they see you going down the wrong path and hanging out with the wrong crowd and they just want to see you get better.
Your new album, A Postcard From California, is a real accomplishment for a little boy from Lima, Ohio. From the first time we heard your voice on Help Me, Rhonda to the next time we heard you balladeer on Then I Kissed Her, we were all hooked! Maybe some people thought of you as the least interesting Beach Boy, but the truly intelligent people saw you as the smart Beach Boy; the one who managed to avoid negative press almost completely (a huge accomplishment for a Beach Boy).
Yes, you were always the voice of reason and sanity; the reliable one! But as the years have gone on I've started to notice a change in you. I need to tell you this Al, before its too late and you can never stop.
You are addicted to writing bad Country laced Rock and Roll songs.
SONG: Susie Cincinatti
PROBLEM: Writing a song about a "Troubled Adolescant Girl"
PROOF ITS BAD: It was released as the B Side to 3 different singles from 1970-76. And these lyrics:
"Her looks aren't exactly a plus
but it doesn't matter to us...
She got the nicotine fit
And before she discovered it
Everybody in the back seat suffocated"
SONG: Lady Lynda
PROBLEM: "The lyrics to the song refer to Jardine's then-wife, Lynda Jardine. After the two divorced, the song was rewritten as "Lady Liberty", a tribute to the Statue of Liberty."
PROOF ITS BAD: Admittedly, this song charted at #39 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Charts in June 1979 because it tried to achieve that AM Easy Listening Gold sound, but it failed in comparison to the #1 song at that time, Anne Murray's Shadows In The Moonlight (which you can hear here).
And now that your new album is coming out I can see that your problem has only gotten worse. I mean, you have the opportunity to make an album so incredible, so stupendous, so mind-altering that for the rest of eternity all Beach Boys fans would say "I never suspected it, but Al Jardine's solo album really is just the greatest record of all time."
You can still get it back! The passion that you've lost while you were busy "Looking Down The Coast", "Honkin' Down The Highway", "Driving" and "Feeling" and "Dreaming" California. You get it? While you're busy thinking about geography and driving your car (which is killing that geography you love so much) you're forgetting all about what people want to hear.
It's like this, you are covering songs that we all heard 40 or 50 years ago and covering them sub-par at that! Just look at this video you did for your cover of Help Me, Rhonda.
Just stop it! Start over, completely from scratch. Sit down at your piano and play a FM7 chord with a D bass note and just hold it for 15 seconds. You feel that? That's an incredible chord to start with. Now go grab Crosby, Stills, Nash, Steve Miller, Flea, David Marks, Brian Wilson, Mike love, John Stamos, Rebecca Romijn Stamos and your family and I want you to go into that home studio and don't come out until you're sure your album could make Beethoven cry from jealousy.
It's not impossible Al! You don't have to keep making these same mistakes. I just want to tell you to be the best you can be, Al. I care about you and I want to like you and your music, and maybe after this intervention you'll finally be able to make that perfect album.