Reviews

Currently Available on iTunes (Varese Sarabande / Universal Music Group)


"I love your CD. Thanks."
Brian Wilson


"Awesome !!"

Jan Berry of Jan & Dean 


 "Mainstream Brian Wilson fans will find Box o' Clox a wonderful collection of the composer's lesser known work — beautifully performed by a very gifted and sensitive Cameron Michael Parkes. For those who haven't heard most or all of these songs, it's like finding a secret cache of treasure-filled eggs after the Easter egg hunt is long over. Moreover, these are the musical equivalent of Faberge Eggs! For those who already know the material, Cameron has polished, refined and made manifest the full brilliance of these songs that was only hinted at in earlier versions. Here they magically come to life — both melodically and lyrically — thanks to the many talents and loving attention of Mr. Parkes who, amazingly, does it all by himself." — Tony Asher, Brian Wilson collaborator, lyricist on PET SOUNDS


  

"I enjoyed listening to Cameron Michael Parkes' Box o' Clox CD. I especially enjoyed where he went with his version of "Vegetables." It was very original and one of the most inspired versions of any Brian Wilson cut that I have heard."
— Jeffrey Foskett, Brian Wilson band member


  

"Cameron's soaring vocals and fascinating arrangements offer new twists while facilitating an even greater appreciation of Brian Wilson's originals. This album is a masterful tribute to one of the great musical legends of our time. Every track will inspire repeated listens."
— Mark A. Moore, Co-Producer, Jan Berry / Jan & Dean Tribute Album



"Fantastic! The arrangements are wonderful and I can't imagine one person playing and singing everything so perfectly. These versions have provided an even greater insight into Brian's genius for composition. I never would have thought that "I'll Bet He's Nice" would have fit on "Pet Sounds" as Cameron suggested, but I'll be damned if he wasn't right. Cameron's arrangement proved that what many might think to be a lightweight song from "Love You" is actually a beautiful piece of music that is worthy of "Pet Sounds." "Wonderful" is wonderful — again, Cameron has given the song another dimension, and the harpischord and orchestra are simply gorgeous. As a fan, I'm thankful for "A Day In The Life Of A Tree." I always loved the melody — it's like a beautiful, sweeping movie theme. Unfortunately, Brian's original production was treated somewhat as a joke with a lead vocal that was nearly unlistenable. We finally have a version that is as beautiful as the melody. "Saturday Morning In The City" is a newer song that most of Brian's fans haven't heard. Cameron's version proves that Brian's "still got it": fun lyrics, inventive production and a classic melody are going to have listeners humming to this whether they like it or not. Of course it's tough to top Brian's original productions, but these songs can stand proudly alongside the originals — it's a great collection and Brian's fans will love them!"
— Michael deMartin, brianwilson.com


  

The wholly unique and breathtaking album art by Chloe Cumming that adorns this disc, Box O’ Clox: A Brian Wilson Tribute by Cameron Michael Parkes, lets the listener know that this is not your run-of-the-mill homage to the Chief Beach Boy. Curiosity has drawn me to the strains of tributes to Brian Wilson before, with decidedly mixed results. Too often I’ve encountered the cheeky band who wants to lovingly dismantle a particular song — except in their efforts to please, they’ve torn apart a perfectly good “409” and reassembled the pieces it into a rickshaw. Fortunately, this is not the case here. 

Cameron Michael Parkes shows a marked reverence and gentle playfulness with this tribute. His offerings are not forgeries, nor are they meant to be. Rather, these songs are such remarkable reinterpretations that you can’t help notice that they sit along perfectly with the originals. The cd kicks off with “Intro (My Prayer)” which naturally bears melodic and sonic similarities to “Our Prayer”, and yet it is an original Parkes creation. I hasten to add that he achieves a cathedral-like quality in his little intro that maybe even surpassed Brian’s original attempt (blasphemy, I know). 

For the outright SMiLE-hungry aficionado like myself, the proof is in the pudding — and we get a delicious helping with Parkes’ rendition of “Wind Chimes” which combines elements of the SMiLE and Smiley Smile versions, mixed in with Parkes’ own distinct touches. Can a so-called copy of a song put the same tears in your eyes as the original? You better believe it! And listen up: real wind chimes sparkle throughout! 

Parkes also chases the more subtle pieces in the Wilson canon, such as “I Went To Sleep”. What makes the CMP version so rewarding is the recognition on his part that this song was deserving of a tribute, and Parkes gives it Gershwin-esque touches (dig the sweeping and apropos harp) that the original lacked. I dare say, he improved upon the masterwork. 

I won’t spoil the other surprises, but understand that Parkes is incredibly ambitious. He has the guts to cover songs like “I’ll Bet He’s Nice” and “A Day in the Life of a Tree”, if that tells you anything. Parkes’ voice is smooth and complimentary to every one of these songs on the disc, and the musicianship herein stands alongside Brian’s current recording and touring outfit. Yes, that good. So I find myself endorsing a tribute album with the urgent reminder that this is not just another tribute album; it’s made of the same stuff as the originals: unparalleled talent. Seek it out and enjoy!
— John Lane, Ear Candy, June 2004

  

Cameron Michael Parkes must really love the Beach Boys a lot, and in particular Brian Wilson. So much so that this film and television composer, under the moniker of Box O' Clox, recorded this album of Brian Wilson songs that pays homage to both the boys of summer and Wilson's pop classicism. 

The good thing about this record is that it doesn't concentrate on the Beach Boys' well-known and popular songs (sorry, no "Surfin' USA," "Good Vibrations," or "Barbara Ann" here) but rather obscure and forgotten tracks that are on a par with the hits. Most important, these songs takes one back to the Pet Sounds/Smile era (i.e. "Vegetables," "Wind Chimes," "I'll Bet He's Nice"), when Wilson really came to the fore as a musical genius; each of the tracks here are like two- to three-minute pop symphonies with strings and the famous harmonies (Parkes manages to sound very similar to singers Carl and Brian Wilson and Mike Love as well). Parkes also plays the instruments on the record and arranged the music. The result is some lovely tracks such as "I Wanna Pick You Up" and "Everything I Need." 

Aside from the current music coming from Brian Wilson himself, Box O'Clox comes a very close second creating a faithful homage to Beach Boys music.
— David Chiu, Indie-Music.com, June 12, 2004