Scott Staton is on the editorial staff of The New York Review. (September 2005)

IN THE REVIEW

A Lost Pop Symphony

Smile

an album by Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys are arguably America’s quintessential pop group, but their importance has been unfairly diminished by the cultural fads with which they are associated: surfing and hot rods. Consisting of three brothers, a cousin, and a friend, the young group emerged from the working-class Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne …