Friday, May 18, 2012

Song #193 of 9999 - In My Room by The Beach Boys

Song #193 of 9999

Title: In My Room
Artist: The Beach Boys
Year: 1963
Album: Surfer Girl

In 1963, The Beach Boys released two very popular albums: Surfin' USA and Surfer Girl. Of the 17 vocal tracks (there were seven instrumentals!), at least ten dealt with surfing and another three were about cars or car racing. This was their third consecutive album with some form of the word "surf" in the title. For me, The Beach Boys of this time are kind of a one-trick pony, even if the trick is pretty sweet.

But the first track from the B-side of Surfer Girl seems to foreshadow the greatness ahead. "In My Room" casts a net of sobriety on this gang of beach bums (most of whom never actually learned to surf) while simultaneously hinting at leader Brian Wilson's troubled future. 

In this world I lock out 
All my worries and my fears
In my room
In my room

The arrangement is worth noting, especially the opening with its trademark harmonies forming from individual layers that stack three voices high before the rhythm section plays a note. The 12/8 ballad feel is borrowed from the previous decade but the (relatively) complex vocal harmony sets it apart from the average tune of this decade. The unison vox on the bridge are a nice touch, adding an element of loneliness and reflection to a track already dripping with melancholy.

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