Rolling Stone says the following in their review:
With its vivid orchestration, lyrical ambition, elegant pacing and thematic coherence, Pet Sounds invented – and in some sense perfected – the idea that an album could be more than the sum of its parts. When Wilson sang, "Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?" on the magnificent opener, he wasn't just imagining a love that could evolve past high school; he was suggesting a new grown-up identity for rock & roll music itself.
Vivid orchestration?? Thematic coherence? Wow….some serious praise. We listened and quite honestly, I don’t get it. Yes, it did break them out of the very narrow category of surf music that they were in, but second best album of ALL TIME??? I do really like the iconic “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and who hasn’t heard “Sloop John B” about a zillion times? No one here was too impressed – they all lost interest quickly. However, I am hearing Sgt. Pepper’s pop up on people’s playlists.