Rolling Stone - "The old-school pinnacle is the album's elegiac closer, 'The Last Song'....Wilson's voice, alone and shipwrecked, rises above a bed of piano and strings, ghostly harmony vocals flickering around him..."
Entertainment Weekly - "Wilson sells it pretty well, aided by his legendary knack for effervescent melodies and the presence of dynamic young guests..."
Paste (magazine) - "[T]here are moments of harmonious glory: the intro to 'Our Special Love,' as well as the many tracks that feature former Beach Boys David Marks and Al Jardine."
Personnel: Brian Wilson (vocals, piano, Hammond b-3 organ, keyboards, background vocals); Sebu Simonian (vocals, keyboards); Peter Hollens (vocals, background vocals); Jimmy Riley (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Dean Parks, Tom Bukovac (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Probyn Gregory (electric guitar, French horn); David Marks, Mark Goldenberg, Nick Walusko, Richie Davis (electric guitar); John Wittenberg, Marisa Kuney , Amy Wickman, Songa Lee, Sharon Jackson , Mark Robertson , Julie Rogers, Chihsuan Yang, Clayton Haslop, Charlie Bisharat (violin); Caroline Buckman, JoAnn Tominaga, Scott Hosfeld, Briana Bandy, Darrin McCann (viola); Alisha Bauer, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Jill Kaeding, Giovanna Clayton , Cameron Stone (cello); Paul Von Mertens (flute, saxophone); Gary Griffin, Joey Grzyb (accordion); Amy Barwan (oboe, English horn); Tim Bales, Larry Hall , Rob Parton, Wayne Bergeron, Carey Deadman (trumpet); John Mason (French horn); Charlie Morallis, David Stahlberg, Tom Garling (trombone); Joe Thomas (piano, Hammond b-3 organ, keyboards); Scott Bennett (piano, Hammond b-3 organ, vibraphone, percussion, background vocals); Darian Sahanaja (piano, Hammond b-3 organ, vibraphone); Jeff Lantz (keyboards); Jim Keltner, Kenny Aronoff , Eddie Bayers, Chad Cromwell, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Nelson Bragg (percussion); Thom Griffin, Matt Jardine, Jeff Foskett (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Wesley Seidman; Joe Thomas ; Bill Hare; Frank Pappalardo; Bob Clearmountain; Brian Wilson .
Recording information: Behind The Car Wash, St. Charles, IL; CRC, Chicago, IL; Grand Victor Sound Recording, Nashville, TN; Legacy Studio, Burr Ridge, IL; Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA; Rax Trax Recording, Chicago, IL; Stereotrain Studios; Tomorrow Labs Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Wet Dog Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographers: Brian Bowen-Smith; Mark London.
Arrangers: Paul Von Mertens; Brian Wilson .
That's Why God Made the Radio provided a bittersweet coda to the Beach Boys' career but the soothing sounds of the 2012 reunion didn't linger long before they were soured by the internal fighting endemic to the band. Mere weeks afterward, Mike Love announced Brian Wilson wouldn't join the Beach Boys for any dates after the summer 2012 tour, leaving Brian free to capitalize on the good press of That's Why God Made the Radio. He headed into the studio with guitarist Jeff Beck and producer Don Was in 2013 with the intention of cutting a full album but that collaboration quickly fell apart, leaving Wilson to re-team with his longtime collaborator Joe Thomas to turn these abandoned sessions into what turned out to be No Pier Pressure. Caught halfway between a back-to-basics move along the lines of TWGMTR and a star-studded extravaganza, No Pier Pressure is all sand, sun, and Saturday night nostalgia, a sensibility goosed by the addition of Al Jardine, David Marks, and Blondie Chaplin -- the part of the Beach Boys camp that threw in their lot with Brian -- who help give their numbers ("What Ever Happened," "The Right Time," "Sail Away") a bit of the classicist AM pop sheen that made That's Why God Made the Radio so soothing. Elsewhere, the album relies on guest stars to give it a bit of showbiz sheen. She & Him breeze in to deliver some Caribbean camp on "On the Island," Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities gives Brian a dance club makeover on "Runaway Dancer," and Kacey Musgraves graces "Guess You Had to Be There." By the time Nate Ruess of Fun. shows up for "Saturday Night," a throwback that seems to belong the early-'80s soft rock glory days of Carole Bayer Sager and not American Graffiti (and is the better for it), No Pier Pressure seems a fusion of Wilson's classic sunshine instincts and modern Hollywood pop. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine