Since Brian Wilson's music, arrangements, and production are so gorgeous, anyone could probably do the lead vocal parts on Pet Sounds, the 1966 masterpiece from the Beach Boys.

Since Brian Wilson's music, arrangements, and production are so gorgeous, anyone could probably do the lead vocal parts on Pet Sounds, the 1966 masterpiece from the Beach Boys. But Wilson is not "anyone." Recorded in January at London's Royal Festival Hall with a back-up worthy of the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds Live is pure ecstasy. Wilson's voice, of course, is no longer what it was nearly four decades ago—especially in its then effortlessly fluid, signature high end. But he leaves those parts to others now, more than making up for their absence with an ever-present conviction in his lead vocals, and above all else, hard-earned character. Indeed, after all that the troubled genius has experienced in the intervening decades, his performance here is nothing short of triumphant, and while his renditions of the hits "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Caroline, No," and "Sloop John B" are priceless, "You Still Believe in Me," all things considered, is probably now the key track.—JB