By Ken Tucker
Updated June 14, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
Daniel Gluskoter/Retna Ltd.

The recently rebooted ? pop legends’ most engaged, least cripplingly nostalgic album since 1977’s Love You finds Brian Wilson and various surrogates pondering celebrity (”The Private Life of Bill and ? Sue”) and the healing power of harmony, as both musical succor and balm for universal brotherhood. That’s Why God Made the Radio also has the most songs about the beach since 1963’s Surfer Girl; one hazy standout reaches the shocking-to-Brian conclusion that Santa Monica Beach might be part of a ”Strange World.” When he takes over on lead vocals, Mike Love sings Wilson’s sometimes bleak sentiments sunnily — which makes them ? all the more unsettling. B+

Best Tracks:
Supremely catchy Isn’t It Time
Hallucinatory Summer’s Gone