songs that suck heading
kokomo
“KOKOMO”
The Beach Boys
Elektra Records
1988
[from the Cocktail Soundtrack]

Oh, yeah. I’m definitely going to be getting some angry responses from former junior high chums on this one. Among others, I’m sure. But, believe me when I say, I do this not to just troll any fan of this song, whoever you may be. I do this because I can’t even bring myself to pretend that “Kokomo” is even close to a good song any longer. I’ve remained quiet long enough.

Full Disclosure: While I’m not a fan of the Beach Boys, I grew up listening to them via my parents and school friends who loved them. I do enjoy a good Beach Boys song; I also have grown to really appreicate the genius that is Brian Wilson, and recognize that without his production skills and creativeness on the song “Good Vibrations” and the album Pet Sounds, we wouldn’t have the Sgt. Pepper’s album. Seriously, go look it up.

With that in mind, that is the exact reason why I consider “Kokomo” to be second-rate Jimmy Buffet fodder, rather than a throwback classic, as many others seem to think. Brian Wilson had not been part of the band for a number of years, and boy does it show here. It probably didn’t help that the only other thing that they were known for in the 80s was their collaboration with the Fat Boys on the song “Wipe Out”, and a later appearance on the TGIF-staple Full House sealed their fate as a washed-up nostalgia act. Meanwhile, we still have to endure “Kokomo” popping up randomly, necessitating much work to keep this from infecting the brain to mush.

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