15 Big Ones - Brother 1976
Among the cover tracks only "Palisades Park" and to a certain degree "Talk to Me" hold level. Both numbers showcase fine lead vocals by Carl Wilson.
Among the original Beach Boys songs, it is fortunately significantly better. The hit single "It's OK" is solid Beach Boys with Mike Love in front, and fine harmonies from the group. Mike Love's own "Everyone's in Love With You" is a number that has been received with very mixed feelings. For me it is one of the highlights: a fine tune tastefully produced. The lyrics . . . well. "Back Home", which is also a very good song, unfortunately reveals how far Brian Wilson's voice was from its previous strength. Brian basically has no power for a lead vocal on this point; number is rescued, however, by a convincing Beach Boys choir, and of course the good melody.
Generally the album is lacking the warmth in the production that usually characterizes the group's releases. Many numbers feels flat and a little harsh in sound. In fact, only "Everyone's in Love With You", which has the warmth of the sound, we know of from the earliest 1970er albums. It should, by the way, be noted that Al Jardine contributes "Susie Cincinatti", which is also is one of the better songs on the album.
The title "15 Big Ones" could easily be called somewhat pretentious, given that there are hardly more than 5 really Big Ones on the album.