Pet Sounds Track-by-track XI: I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times

It may be a sugar-coated pill, drenched in harmony and melody, but the eerie theremin is an indicator that this is one of Brian’s most angst-ridden songs. I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times can be seen as a summary, not only of Brian’s life, but of anyone who feels they operate on the outside of what seems to be currently hip and acceptable. In a way, it is symbolic of Pet Sounds less than stellar chart performance and these sense that the group should have stuck to cars and surfing.

The crux of the song comes in the sense of alienation and betrayal when the singer notes “where can I turn when my fair weather friends cop out.” The deepest pain is in the knowledge that this is a battle that needs to be fought alone, and we have moved along way from the spiritual togetherness of God Only Knows.

Of course, Brian was ahead of his times and the belated critical and even commercial success of Pet Sounds is testament to this. Aside from the first use of theremin in rock music, the multi-layered harmonies and mournful melody make this an important part of Brian’s overall canon, and indeed, gave the title to the 1995 documentary on his life. It became one of the highlights of the 2012 Beach Boys reunion as Brian lamented that he wasn’t made for our current era or even the era that Pet Sounds was made. But for the many of us who relate to this song, we know that this is a song for all- time and one of the greatest of all time.

Leave a Reply