Pet Sounds is an album.Although it's attributed to the Beach Boys as a collective effort,it's the almost exclusive accomplishment of Brian Wilson and his lyrical partner Tony Asher.
The album focuses on the contrast and justaposition of ethereal,crystal-drenched harmonies who are so condensed they actually create landscapes of sound and the melancholic observations on the process of growing up and transitioning into adulthood and its dilemmas. It is the dialetic of this opposition that gives the album both a resounding complexity of contemplative beauty and lingering time and also a sense of uncomparable sadness,the album's short length mirroring an ironic observation of the dire effects of the focus on speed of previous Beach Boys records and pop in general. From the balance of future prospects and present loss from "Wouldn't it Be Nice",the identitary failure from modern urbanism and accelerated growth expressed in "That's Not Me",the soul-crushing beauty of "God Only Knows" and the colapse of all the themes of identity,growth and loss of childhood bliss and love in "Caroline,No",Pet Sounds really sticks to its structured and methodical nature and that union of concept and theme is one its most peculiar characteristics.
In the end,though,what makes Pet Sounds so amazing is its harmonies and attention to detail: every single song is an experience,the album lacking the filler untill then the idiotic norm of every single musician and actually making its singles integral parts of the experience and not just ways to boost sales. If Sgt.Peppers,in its non-conceptual album aura,helped popularize the potential of such a concept,Pet Sounds was the fetus of that premise; it's not for nothing that its baroque arrangements and sophistication often appear as an inspiration of Prog Rock: in many ways,it is pure,commercial pop and sophisticated music. It paved the way for Rock as a genre of artistic validity and not just some mindless animals making noise.