• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Sep 28, 2004
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 439 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 439

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  1. AnthonyL
    Mar 26, 2010
    10
    Best album ever.
  2. WJFlywheel
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    Good stuff for the Mike Love Fanclub.
  3. Maryc
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    I never heard anything like this before.
  4. Shane
    Sep 28, 2004
    10
    So brilliant. So absolutely brilliant. My wait has only been 3 years, but during that 3 years I've dedicated so much time to researching this album and finding bootleg songs online. Brian took on an almost impossible task at finishing this and satisfying the legend, and I was afraid of him striking out after hearing his last solo album which was far from the brilliance we've So brilliant. So absolutely brilliant. My wait has only been 3 years, but during that 3 years I've dedicated so much time to researching this album and finding bootleg songs online. Brian took on an almost impossible task at finishing this and satisfying the legend, and I was afraid of him striking out after hearing his last solo album which was far from the brilliance we've come to know from him. He's done anything but, though. Bases loaded, bottom of the 9th, down by 3. Truly a walk off grand slam from Brian Wilson. Expand
  5. MikeA
    Sep 28, 2004
    10
    A Masterpiece
  6. RayG
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    The production on this 2004 recording is right where it should be...somewhere between then and now...leaning towards then...I actually prefer ALOT of it to the older stuff, and I honestly NEVER thought that would be the case The casing is absolutely beautiful and the last page of the booklet damn near brought a tear to my eye. God bless you Brian Wilson for blessing me with this, the The production on this 2004 recording is right where it should be...somewhere between then and now...leaning towards then...I actually prefer ALOT of it to the older stuff, and I honestly NEVER thought that would be the case The casing is absolutely beautiful and the last page of the booklet damn near brought a tear to my eye. God bless you Brian Wilson for blessing me with this, the greatest album I have ever heard. Expand
  7. df
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    STUNNING
  8. MattW
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    This is one of the best records I've ever heard. Seriously.
  9. StephenM
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    Worth the wait.
  10. JonathanS
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    Unbelievable... gets better w/ each listening!
  11. KentS
    Sep 29, 2004
    10
    It's great to hear the full thing after tasting only bits for ages. It's really fun,thanks Brian
  12. NikeshG
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    Truly Ace
  13. TheFirstOneToComment
    Sep 28, 2004
    9
    If this album were released by the Beach Boys in 1967, it would likely rank as my favorite album ever. In 2004 the songs are just as brilliant, but you miss the vocals of a sixties-era Brian (as well as Carl). This is still the greatest thing I've heard all year. One of the greatest things I've ever heard, in fact.
  14. DanielP
    Sep 28, 2004
    10
    A mind blowing experience. Well worth the wait. Album of the year so far by a mile.
  15. FeidoV
    Apr 12, 2010
    9
    A great album.
  16. BrianE
    Mar 26, 2010
    10
    Perfection in Sound
  17. dickj
    Oct 5, 2004
    0
    Ambitious, banal, silly, over-produced, schlocky, depressing, sappy, 37 years too late and egotistic
  18. Oct 2, 2011
    10
    Everyone who gave this album a negative review doesn't understand music. In order to really enjoy this music and realize how great it really is, you must be someone who really LISTENS to the music, rather that just hearing it for the mood that it brings. Brian Wilson is one of the most talented artist in the past 50 years and anyone who disagrees with that just is flat out dumb, and thisEveryone who gave this album a negative review doesn't understand music. In order to really enjoy this music and realize how great it really is, you must be someone who really LISTENS to the music, rather that just hearing it for the mood that it brings. Brian Wilson is one of the most talented artist in the past 50 years and anyone who disagrees with that just is flat out dumb, and this album is one of his best. Music these days such as metal, rap, pop, and country etc., that a person may hear on the T.V. or radio are for the dumb, simple minded people such as the people who gave this album a bad review are the people who don't have the time to go find music, but rather flip there remote to MTV. So when deciding to purchase this album, go ahead and do it, don't listen to the dumb as**** who gave this album a bad review because those people are just to stupid to understand this kind of music. Expand
  19. DuncanL.
    Jan 2, 2010
    3
    The great thing about this being the best rated album by the music critics is that it shows very clearly just how superficial and sheep like those critics actually are. This is no more than a piece of fluff good for a couple of spins and then put away at the back of the cupboard with that Nirvana record. But hey there are plenty of other sheep who agree with them so they must be right.
  20. GeneD
    Sep 13, 2008
    5
    Being less than enamoured with SMiLE, I read many of the reviews here, to get some idea of what it is I am not geting. High reatings seem to be associated with people who just like tha album, for non-specifiic reasons (read personal taste). Low ratings often gave specific reasons which I found in-line with my thoughts and feelings about the album. I have a hunch that Paul McCartney wrote Being less than enamoured with SMiLE, I read many of the reviews here, to get some idea of what it is I am not geting. High reatings seem to be associated with people who just like tha album, for non-specifiic reasons (read personal taste). Low ratings often gave specific reasons which I found in-line with my thoughts and feelings about the album. I have a hunch that Paul McCartney wrote "Fool on the Hill" (listen to the bass harmonica!) for BW, after the mish-mash of Beach Boys music following Pet Sounds (which is quite good), was released. SMiLE is hard for me to listen to - it is an annoying, non-stop assault of sound and ambiguous lyrics that do not even titillate my imagination. Hence, my middling rating for SMiLE. Expand
  21. JoeG
    Mar 9, 2006
    5
    I wanted to love this, I really did. It's from a genius isn't it, one of the great lost treasures of 60's pop! A few of the sequences (Heroes and Villians) are excellent, but I struggled to warm to much else, some of which is positively flaky. I've just sold it on Ebay, and hope the buyer enjoys it more than I did.
  22. markh
    Jun 8, 2006
    5
    greatest album ever. hahahahahahahahahahha yeah right, refund please.
  23. erikb
    May 7, 2007
    3
    one of those albums that you'll force yourself to hear all the way through because you "should," and then realize it is totally impossible to listen to. Can't really say I enjoyed this one at all, which is tough to admit given all the hype. Maybe I don't "get it" but I think the emperor's new clothes comment got it right.
  24. DaveN
    Aug 5, 2005
    3
    Who would have thought that the band Brian really wanted to play in was the Moody Blues?
  25. MattM
    Nov 7, 2004
    3
    Pretty freakin' boring. The only really good songs are the ones we've heard before: "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villains."
  26. brianwilson
    Oct 2, 2004
    1
    It sucks, overrated piece of trash.
  27. BigStuart
    Oct 9, 2004
    0
    It has *sheep sounds* in it! god sake! and his voice is incredibly annoying! this sucks so very very bad.
  28. DustinB
    Oct 26, 2005
    2
    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I can only imagine that fans of Wilson's past work must remain enamored, because the songs Heroes and Villians, Wind Chimes, and of course, Good Vibrations, save this album from being entire awful. Listen to songs Barnyard and Vega-tables to realize that Brian Wilson has nothing interesting left to sing about. Actually, don't listen to I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I can only imagine that fans of Wilson's past work must remain enamored, because the songs Heroes and Villians, Wind Chimes, and of course, Good Vibrations, save this album from being entire awful. Listen to songs Barnyard and Vega-tables to realize that Brian Wilson has nothing interesting left to sing about. Actually, don't listen to them, just take my word for it and skip this album entirely. Expand
  29. JohnD
    Jan 7, 2005
    0
    Just awful.
  30. harrypotter
    Oct 9, 2005
    1
    Opt for the Beach Boys originals instead. This is the sound of some demented old geezer trying to relive his glory days while equally demented old critics and musos oddly lap it all up. The emperors new clothes springs to mind. Waste of time. Complete and utter.
  31. AndyMcD
    Jul 5, 2005
    2
    Ummmmm... We get it Brian, you like singing "doo wop." Just because this was acceptable in the 60's, doesn't make it so now. Pretty darn overrated.
  32. ScottY
    Jul 9, 2005
    1
    I don't get the high ratings this one receives. The music just seems like a slightly updated version of the stuff the Beach Boys were doing in the 1960s. What's so great about this album these days?
  33. ElMo
    Aug 1, 2005
    0
    This Supposed Masterpiece, is the worst music i have ever listened to, that's why it was never released and should have stayed that way. If Brian wilson had stayed with Mike Love and produced the album, the result would have been a lot different, and maybe i would have like it, but no! I think this album was only bought because Brian Wilson's name was on it. And a hell of a lot This Supposed Masterpiece, is the worst music i have ever listened to, that's why it was never released and should have stayed that way. If Brian wilson had stayed with Mike Love and produced the album, the result would have been a lot different, and maybe i would have like it, but no! I think this album was only bought because Brian Wilson's name was on it. And a hell of a lot of people are being polite. Expand
  34. WilliamT
    Sep 23, 2005
    1
    first they told me Revenge Of The Sith had redeemed George Lucas. Heck many critics said it was even better than Star Wars. Then I hear Smile scores 97 on the metatcritic score so I goes out and buy it. "It's impossible for words to describe what is necesassary, for those who do not know what... horror...means"
  35. DanS
    Jan 12, 2006
    0
    Holy shit this album sucks. Its the #1 album on metacritic of all time? Ive lost all faith in critics and user ratings for life, with the exception of the few of you who trashed this piece, youve all lost your minds, much like Wilson. If you bought this album i feel sorry for you.
  36. DrewM
    Mar 18, 2006
    0
    Oh my God. This album is absolutely fucking horrible. Anybody who rated it high needs a good smack. Really. Get a life, people.
  37. [Anonymous]
    Mar 6, 2006
    1
    pretty poor stuff if we're honest with ourselves
  38. chipdIII
    Oct 13, 2004
    2
    Why did it take 37 years before it came out Brian? "Because it's mostly utter cock and it took me to completely lose my mind before I gave in to my money loving bastard label. ha ha ha wibble." This should have a really remained a myth.
  39. David
    Dec 16, 2004
    2
    No No No No!
  40. Bruce
    Oct 27, 2004
    2
    You can take a pile of horse manure, mould it into the shape of the Statue of David and people will call it art, simply because that's what they are supposed to say. Of course in reality, it's really just a pile of shit. I'm sure Brian Wilson is "smiling" all the way to the bank !
  41. mattf
    Oct 27, 2005
    3
    I just don't get it and I've listened to the album many times. Best album of 2004. No way!
  42. Keith
    Oct 28, 2005
    1
    Utter sonic drivel, bought this for a friend, feelin' a tad guilty....must think i hate em.
  43. reyn
    Oct 3, 2005
    0
    Worst CD. Ever.
  44. Rev.Rikard
    Oct 5, 2005
    1
    I tried! I really did! This may be the most overrated album ever. No song touched or moved me; and it has become one of the few albums in my collections that is probably permanently shelved. Sorry Brian, but the years of sabbatical did little to make this work inspiring.
  45. Dave
    Apr 12, 2005
    2
    I kepy checking the date of these reviews, in case it was April 1st. Then I thought it might like the Hasselhof reviews on Amazon, just a whole lot of effusive hilarious praise for a total turkey. Right now, I am bewildered because this album is so .. banal, uninteresting, lame, mediocre. Utter shite. Brian Wilson's voice is aweful and the soprano chorus thing in the back is I kepy checking the date of these reviews, in case it was April 1st. Then I thought it might like the Hasselhof reviews on Amazon, just a whole lot of effusive hilarious praise for a total turkey. Right now, I am bewildered because this album is so .. banal, uninteresting, lame, mediocre. Utter shite. Brian Wilson's voice is aweful and the soprano chorus thing in the back is irritating. Can I trust any other reviews on this site now?? Expand
  46. TboneM
    Jun 29, 2005
    2
    Most. Overrated. Ever.
  47. Waldo
    Sep 11, 2005
    0
    Horrific. And irritating. There's a reason that it took 37 years to get this material out--it ought to have remained in the dustbin.
  48. PeterFrampton
    Sep 11, 2005
    1
    Sounds rather like a lost, misguided composition clobbered together by the Moody Blues, George Michael, and a drunken aardvark. The drunken aardvark is the best, too. Save your money.
  49. Jackhammer
    Sep 11, 2005
    0
    Wilson's voice is shot. He sounds like Neal Young with pneumonia--and is freuqently garbled. Easily the most grating album, as well as most overrated, on the market.
  50. BrianS
    Apr 9, 2006
    2
    Bought this album based on Metacritic review - deeply dissapointed
  51. JacobQ
    Nov 16, 2005
    3
    Those demons in ol Brians head should have stayed there and not recorded on cd. I'm putting this "gem" on ebay...
  52. NoobyF
    Jan 22, 2006
    1
    Brian Wilson is ancient OKAY! Get it through your head. I thought the album was so thoroughly boring, as his other stuff was. So I'm one hundred percent behind you, Dan S. It's terrible.
  53. JackL
    Mar 12, 2006
    6
    There once was a man named Brian Wilson; a fragile man who created many works of greatness in the '60s with the Beach Boys. After releasing "Pet Sounds", he began to prepare an album that's greatness would surpass any that ever been released. He worked... and worked... and worked. "Smile" was assumed to be lost forever until one day, 37 years later, it finally saw a release. It There once was a man named Brian Wilson; a fragile man who created many works of greatness in the '60s with the Beach Boys. After releasing "Pet Sounds", he began to prepare an album that's greatness would surpass any that ever been released. He worked... and worked... and worked. "Smile" was assumed to be lost forever until one day, 37 years later, it finally saw a release. It was a breathtaking work of genius and totally kicked Sgt. Pepper's ass. The deranged savant Brian Wilson was finally at peace. The end. Wasn't that a good story? Music journalists certainly thought so, declaring the album one of the best of the year; and even all time. Putting aside the history of the album, however, reveals a mediocre release full of cornball songs about barnyard animals and vegetables. The best tracks of this CD were released years ago, and to be frank, they sounded a lot better in their original versions. The first time I listened to this CD, I hated it, but I've given it another chance and it's growing on me. It still isn't anything truly great, in my opinion. Beach Boys fans and music historians may love it. As for everyone else, move on- there's nothing to see here. Expand
  54. NickW
    Mar 22, 2006
    0
    I agree with Drew M
  55. JakeM
    Nov 21, 2004
    1
    These songs are stupid and I cannot comprehend this albums critical acclaim. This guys brain is obviously fried. His songs aren't about anything at all and they all sound the same. The choruses are terrible. I HATE it. Come back Beach Boys!! How could this even be compared to Pet Sounds!!!!!!!!
  56. MackG.
    Nov 26, 2004
    1
    In the befuddled audio universe of Smile, there?s not a lot of fun fun fun to be had. The parking lot is empty, the beach is deserted, and despite what Brian Wilson tells you, the surf is definitely not up. Listening to Smile, the most famous unreleased album of all time, it?s clear that the tide is out, which would explain why the songs smell a bit like dead fish. For the uninitiated, a In the befuddled audio universe of Smile, there?s not a lot of fun fun fun to be had. The parking lot is empty, the beach is deserted, and despite what Brian Wilson tells you, the surf is definitely not up. Listening to Smile, the most famous unreleased album of all time, it?s clear that the tide is out, which would explain why the songs smell a bit like dead fish. For the uninitiated, a little history. In 1966, Brian Wilson, creative core of the Beach Boys, decided that he was going to record the greatest rock record of all time, outdoing not only the Boys? previous album and psychedelic pop cornerstone Pet Sounds, but The Beatles themselves. Brian Wilson was on a mission from god. But after 85 recording sessions and almost as many nervous breakdowns, Smile turned to Frown, and Wilson called it quits. The record was never officially released, although bootlegs have appeared over the years, and numerous songs have seeped out on other Beach Boys albums. Now, after years of referring to the incomplete creation as if it deserved the dread-filling, unspoken reverence of Lord Voldemort, Wilson?s gone off and rerecorded the whole shebang. Released last September, Smile received the kind of hyperbolic critical praise usually reserved for Sgt. Pepper and tinny British hip hop. After a few months of listening, I can conclusively say that Smile, in the words of Beavis and Butthead, sucks. Think of it this way. The Beach Boys song ?Shut Down? chronicled the street-racing antics of two high school hoodlums. Yes, they might have been burning rubber on some nameless Orange County street, but at least they were going somewhere. The biggest issue with Smile is that it goes nowhere. It sputters and coughs and makes a lot of noise, but it?s just spinning its wheels. Wilson?s songwriting is mostly to blame. There?s a pervading classical influence in the form of songs consisting of loosely glued-together snippets that Wilson called ?feels.? Rock and roll this ain?t. These ?feels? signal a basic misunderstanding of classical structure, but hey, it?s Brian Wilson ? who?s going to argue with him? This self-consciously ?innovative? compositional technique would work if all of the bits and pieces added up to a cohesive whole. But they don?t. What we get are transitions to transitions to transitions, without much variety in musical texture, until closing track ?Good Vibrations,? which is by far the most traditional number on here. The cut and paste songwriting works exactly twice on Smile, and both times it?s on songs that have already been officially released. ?Heroes and Villains? is well-crafted and works in the way that ?Bohemian Rhapsody? worked. ?Surf?s Up,? meanwhile, sounds as if it?s supposed to be some kind of grand musical statement, what with misty-eyed sighs of ?bygone, bygone? and lots of chime-sounding things. Apparently this musical statement involves inanimate objects playing chess, but that can be pardoned as the music works fairly well. In reality, it?s not too far off from ?Rose?s Turn? from Gypsy. Like I said, this isn?t rock and roll. I might be able to excuse Wilson?s frequent musical plummets down the staircase and listen to Smile as a failed experiment, but help me Rhonda, the lyrics, written by Van Dyke Parks, are unforgivable. To call them incoherent would be an insult to sufferers of Tourette?s syndrome. I?m not kidding around. The chorus of ?Surf?s Up? is ?Columnated ruins domino.? I rest my case. And I haven?t even mentioned the embarrassing rewrite of ?Good Vibrations.? I?m not saying that an artist shouldn?t be allowed to evolve. Quite the contrary. ?Pet Sounds? was 180 degrees removed from the classic Beach Boys sound, and it?s one of the best artifacts of the 60s, although it hasn?t aged especially well. What I?m saying is that an artist shouldn?t be allowed to release a musical roll of toilet paper (albeit, in this case, very fancy, possibly silken toilet paper) and get the best reviews of the year. That would do more to kill art, and more importantly, rock and roll, than Smile alone ever could. Had the record been released in the 60s, it would have been remembered as Pet Sounds? overly hyped, kitschy sister-album on which Wilson, in an attempt to create ?a teenage symphony to god,? took his self-indulgence to idiotic extremes. If that doesn?t convince you, then hear this. Which do you like better, Smile?s ?Cabin Essence? or the old time ?Surfin? Safari?? I guess you?ll always have your Smile people and your ?Fun Fun Fun? people, but let?s face it ? over-serious, over-orchestrated vanity-pop will never have the same musical impact or the same teenage truths of a song as gloriously moronic as ?Little Deuce Coupe.? That, and the people who think Smile is a modern rock cornerstone are probably the kind of folks who say that The Beatles started out as a boy band and that Jim Morrison was a great poet. In Brian Wilson?s own words, buddy, I just shut you down. Expand
  57. DavidP
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    As an old Beach Boys fan who grew up in the 60's, SMiLE provides an unexpected closure to a part of my psyche. It's like John was not shot, George is still alive, and the Beatles got back together in the 80's and put out another masterpiece. Of course, that fantasy will always leave a hole in my heart but, now, at least, one of the holes in my heart has been filled with joy As an old Beach Boys fan who grew up in the 60's, SMiLE provides an unexpected closure to a part of my psyche. It's like John was not shot, George is still alive, and the Beatles got back together in the 80's and put out another masterpiece. Of course, that fantasy will always leave a hole in my heart but, now, at least, one of the holes in my heart has been filled with joy and a SMiLE. Thank you Brian. Expand
  58. williamf
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    never was that much of a brain wilson fan, but wow!!!!! this is a classic
  59. JimD
    Oct 8, 2004
    10
    An amazing aural experience. Totally unlike anything else by the Beach Boys in many ways, but the harmonies take you back.
  60. JE
    Oct 9, 2004
    10
    i love it. it's a great album. i think everyone who is digging it is suffering from a little bit of nostalgia, but that's only natural..
  61. JohnS
    Jan 10, 2005
    10
    As a big Beatle fan, I've always been a bit protectionist as far as this album being "better" than Pepper is concerned. I'd heard the released stuff and some of it was indeed impressive. Heroes & Villians, Good Vibrations, Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Wonderful and Surf's Up in particular truly awesome. Now nearly 40 years later and with all these tracks finally slotted As a big Beatle fan, I've always been a bit protectionist as far as this album being "better" than Pepper is concerned. I'd heard the released stuff and some of it was indeed impressive. Heroes & Villians, Good Vibrations, Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Wonderful and Surf's Up in particular truly awesome. Now nearly 40 years later and with all these tracks finally slotted together for the first time on the one album, I'm bound to say its quite simply, sensational. Breathtalingly beautiful in parts. Much as though I hate to admit it, back in 1967 this would probably have dwarfed Pepper. As a piece of art it's infinately more progressive. As piece of music it's certainly better. Maybe not the catchy tunes sure, but this is another level altogether. With pop/rock music having advanced SO much since 1967, its really difficult to appreciate how innovative this would have been back then. The fact that it still stands up in 2004 says everything that needs to be said. Back then it would have blown everyone away although quite possibly wouldn't have sold well- leastways in the States. And you could see why the rest of the Beach Boys were a bit scared of it, deviating as far as it did from their previous winning formula. But with so much music having been released since this was written, its incredible to think that I really could say its still probably the best rock/pop album I've ever heard. I would have loved to have heard the Beach Boy voices on it , even though the vocals here are stunning. As a family they had such a unique blend when they all sang together, which is not replicated here, nor sadly ever will be now. . Expand
  62. Dale
    Jun 6, 2005
    4
    If you are a fan of BW or the Beach Boys, Smile may (or not) tickle your fancy, but if you are just a casual fan taken in by the critical acclaim it has received from this site (like yours truly), DO NOT PURCHASE THIS ALBUM before listening to it first. It is overrated by any standard and most may find the dated sound and (lack of) song structure rather unpalatable.
  63. GiovanniO
    Aug 17, 2006
    2
    Why are most reviewers giving this album a 10? When you rate an album do you consider overall enjoyability for adults that did not grow up in the 60's? As an open minded individual I can appreciate any music regardless of age or type, but as a reviewer I could not give a 10 to an album based on its history or lenght of creation. Rome was not built in a day but it fell in one...
  64. AlexanderB.
    Aug 6, 2007
    10
    For me Smile is the greatest album of all times! Period.
  65. HankB
    Mar 2, 2010
    10
    More of a triumph than anyone could have expected. Still, it's a bit tragic that the world didn't get to hear this finished piece in '67 with the original Beach Boys.
  66. VinceH.
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    I have to agree with ebok on this one. I (like most BB fanatics) have compiled all the old songs, bits, lost tracks, samples, etc. and compiled my own version of Smile in various forms over the years). I really miss Brian's old voice and the singing of the boys in their prime, but this new groups is excellent and Brian still sings wonderfully. The main thing about this new album that I have to agree with ebok on this one. I (like most BB fanatics) have compiled all the old songs, bits, lost tracks, samples, etc. and compiled my own version of Smile in various forms over the years). I really miss Brian's old voice and the singing of the boys in their prime, but this new groups is excellent and Brian still sings wonderfully. The main thing about this new album that will (and should) get all the attention is the production and arrangement. This is hands down the best production of all time, and yes I have heard pretty much every rock/pop album considered a "classic". Brian Wilson is truly the greatest musical mind to emerge from pop music. You know when people call their fav artist a genius and stuff, well Wilson is actually a genius and it shows here (as it always has). This is truly one of the miracles of musical creation and had this album orginally been released after Pet Sounds it would've been considered as the greatest album ever made. Not kidding folks, it's that good. Expand
  67. JensK
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    Forget about 1967, this is a great, great, great record today!
  68. LarryJ
    Oct 6, 2004
    10
    It just keeps getting better with each time I listen to it. I especially love the middle suite of "Childhood" songs -- "Wonderful." If the original BB had been involved in this production, particularly the late-Carl Wilson, it would have rated off the chart. The album and Brian's backstory, in my opinion, serve to reinforce the overall theme of these tracks. I'm happy Brian can SMiLE.
  69. MichaelC
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    The Only thing wrong with this album is Brian's voice, if he had that classic falsetto, it would be perfection. But I'd only drop the album 0.1 of a point for that, so I'd give the album 10 out of 10. L&M
  70. hitchynonejusthitchy!
    Oct 13, 2005
    4
    To say I'm disappointed is an understatement!...we've all heard the legend of 'smile', so the anticipation of hearing this for the 1st time was high. Where to listen to it?...I never remember the first time I heard any of the great classics, so I was determined to make this 'hearing' something I'd remember forever. On a long lonely highway, late at To say I'm disappointed is an understatement!...we've all heard the legend of 'smile', so the anticipation of hearing this for the 1st time was high. Where to listen to it?...I never remember the first time I heard any of the great classics, so I was determined to make this 'hearing' something I'd remember forever. On a long lonely highway, late at night, cruise control on, by myself........turned up loud.......man i was salivating as i pushed the CD in.......the result?......oh brian, oh no, brian....please tell me this ain't smile......37 yrs in the making?......sounds to me like you just got a whole heap of lyrics & musical snatches, chucked 'em in the blender & recorded it in the order that they came out....oh Brian, no! Expand
  71. JindrichH
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    Beautiful....
  72. ArielN
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    Smile Brian, You Did It Again.
  73. MurielB.
    Jan 20, 2005
    10
    Look ! Listen ! Vibrate ! Smile !
  74. jims
    Jan 2, 2005
    10
    Pop symphony, have never heard anything like it
  75. joej
    Jan 4, 2005
    10
    Brilliant!
  76. MartyM
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    Brilliant. Smile is finally released and I was not disappointed at all. The hype was definitely deserved.
  77. bobbyc
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    may be the most brilliant "pop" or "rock" album of all time. but those catagories don't even begin to describe its incredible synthesis of traditional american song styles, symphonic bliss & bold, successful avant-garde experimentation. it just has never been done before in this way. it even surpasses its own mythical legend. an astounding achievement, not just for a man who may be the most brilliant "pop" or "rock" album of all time. but those catagories don't even begin to describe its incredible synthesis of traditional american song styles, symphonic bliss & bold, successful avant-garde experimentation. it just has never been done before in this way. it even surpasses its own mythical legend. an astounding achievement, not just for a man who struggles daily from mental illness, but an astounding achievement from anybody at all. he didn't even have to do this. he could have just let the legend live on as the most famous unreleased album of all time & rested on those laurals alone. Expand
  78. stevep
    Apr 12, 2005
    10
    A true Classic ! ! !
  79. ErickC.
    Jun 27, 2005
    10
    I don`t know how some people gave ratings below 9, A "5".....come on, this is a great album, even after 37 years you can listen magic in this music, the kind of album that you want to listen from start to finish( I have, 10 times at least ^_^ ) and nowadays that is something really hard to find, the only people who don`t like this cd is because they like predictible and easy listen music, I don`t know how some people gave ratings below 9, A "5".....come on, this is a great album, even after 37 years you can listen magic in this music, the kind of album that you want to listen from start to finish( I have, 10 times at least ^_^ ) and nowadays that is something really hard to find, the only people who don`t like this cd is because they like predictible and easy listen music, this album surprises you in practically every song, definitely is something really especial and innovative even 37 years later from the original release date. Pet Sounds may be more estructure and "famous" but SMiLE Challenges you, is for a intelligent audience who appreciate original music with great & unexpected twists in the songs. DEFINITELY A WORTHY ALBUM!! HAT`S OFF TO BRIAN WILSON! Expand
  80. DriR
    Sep 7, 2005
    10
    Wonderful! Brilliant!
  81. AndrewF
    Oct 3, 2006
    10
    One of the top 5 albums of all time. His voice is a little different, but certainly not bad, and the backing band is better musically than the beach boys. The only thing it is missing, is Carl, Mikes, Brian (in his 20s) voices. Only albums ahead of it are Pet Sounds, Revolver, Highway 61, and Sgt. Peppers.
  82. RaleighR
    Jun 28, 2006
    9
    Brian Wilson is elevated to new highs with SMiLE. Though one can only dream what this time traveled masterpiece could have inspired if originally released as a response to Sgt. Pepper. In the 60's the hype that surrounded the album was that it was to be 'a teenage symphony to God'. In 2004 does it still hold up to what teenager feel today? All n all great album, good for Brian Wilson is elevated to new highs with SMiLE. Though one can only dream what this time traveled masterpiece could have inspired if originally released as a response to Sgt. Pepper. In the 60's the hype that surrounded the album was that it was to be 'a teenage symphony to God'. In 2004 does it still hold up to what teenager feel today? All n all great album, good for Brian to get it accomplished. Expand
  83. Ben
    Sep 17, 2006
    8
    It would have been a disapintment if released earlier... simply not comparable with pet sounds or any beatles records
  84. Rog
    Feb 12, 2007
    10
    Outstanding music - for any era.
  85. DarylS
    Mar 10, 2007
    9
    Ok I'm 15 and (I'll admit it) very impressionable, I get this album based on metacritic's 97 average with very little previous beach boys experience and absolutely no idea what to expect. I've had only 3 listens so far and it's still growing on me - I'm still not sure what if the rave reviews are all genuine or if many are due to the hype and mythology Ok I'm 15 and (I'll admit it) very impressionable, I get this album based on metacritic's 97 average with very little previous beach boys experience and absolutely no idea what to expect. I've had only 3 listens so far and it's still growing on me - I'm still not sure what if the rave reviews are all genuine or if many are due to the hype and mythology surrounding it but all I can say is like it. I like it a lot. Maybe I don't appreciate it the same way as many other people do and i can't quite understand this being the "greatest album ever" but it is a very good listen and i hope more and more listens will reveal just how good it is to a poor boy whos been forced to grow up with Justin Timberlake and 50 Cent like myself. Expand
  86. TedG
    May 21, 2007
    10
    What's so impressive about this album is how ahead of it's time it is today, 40 years since it's conception. The Polarized reviews speak to this. The album beautifully details American mass culture, with both ideas deep and adult, as well as childlike and innocent.
  87. danielb
    May 3, 2007
    1
    What a disappointment! All time highest score in Metacritic? Now I get it, Rock "critics" only give value to their own nostalgia and deep in their hearts they despise any music created after 1969. This album is not bad in the same way that some elevator songs are acceptable and even catchy. I don't care about the lyrics, the music in Smile is plain boring and no grandstanding about What a disappointment! All time highest score in Metacritic? Now I get it, Rock "critics" only give value to their own nostalgia and deep in their hearts they despise any music created after 1969. This album is not bad in the same way that some elevator songs are acceptable and even catchy. I don't care about the lyrics, the music in Smile is plain boring and no grandstanding about now genius Pet Sounds was will convince me of the contrary. Let me say it again: the music is utterly boring. It is the same annoying high pitched whining for 40 minutes. Can Rock critics talk about the music of the albums they review for once? If I wanted Expand
  88. RoccoS
    Jun 12, 2007
    9
    Everyone who gave it ones and zeroes probably put the cd in their car stereo on the way home from best buy, grimaced, and simply endured the first listen, like I did. They might have even listened a few more times. I've listened to it about 10 times through and I keep discovering more and more. Looking back, all of my favorite music of all time seemed random and inaccessible upon the Everyone who gave it ones and zeroes probably put the cd in their car stereo on the way home from best buy, grimaced, and simply endured the first listen, like I did. They might have even listened a few more times. I've listened to it about 10 times through and I keep discovering more and more. Looking back, all of my favorite music of all time seemed random and inaccessible upon the first few listens, but you have to devote some time to the music to be infinitely rewarded. This album is an absolute joy from beginning to end, the instrumentation is glorious and lush, NONE OF IT IS DIGITAL, and I'm only giving it a 9 because of the horrible misjudgement of changing the "Good Vibrations" lyrics. Expand
  89. ScottW.
    Aug 20, 2007
    10
    Now here as an album that should put a smile on your face. Not just because of its fun and catchy songs, but because your hearing what would have been classic Beach Boy tunes. This was a lost album for almost forty years, from one of the best rock bands. Brian Wilson gives us a true classic and a must have.
  90. Terry
    Apr 8, 2008
    10
    A masterpiece. Good for you, Brian.
  91. patf.
    Jan 30, 2009
    10
    Best thing i have heard in years! surfs up, h&v, cabinessence the list of great songs is very impressive.
  92. LuisI
    Feb 10, 2010
    10
    Pop orchestra, brilliant sound, brian wilson and a legendary record.
  93. DanD
    Feb 13, 2010
    1
    It sounded like Brian Wilson threw mud at the wall while high on drugs through this entire album until "Good Vibrations" magically appeared. Frankly it was the only track where the mad combination of his doo-wops and strings and novelty sounds worked together. I'm sorry, but even a monkey could type the Iliad if he tried enough times.
  94. ChrisL
    Feb 9, 2010
    10
    Pristine.
  95. engelbertcockswallower
    Oct 10, 2004
    0
    gee this suxx!! get sum papa roach doodes!!
  96. JackB
    Oct 1, 2004
    9
    Have to agree that it's brilliant. But we already knew that. My only complaint is that I miss Brian's old vocals. The other boys in the band I can take or leave. But Brian sounds like an old man now. Love this "Heroes" better than any other mix we've heard before. "Surf's Up" loses a step without Brian's original lead. Like the lyrics of the '66 "Good Have to agree that it's brilliant. But we already knew that. My only complaint is that I miss Brian's old vocals. The other boys in the band I can take or leave. But Brian sounds like an old man now. Love this "Heroes" better than any other mix we've heard before. "Surf's Up" loses a step without Brian's original lead. Like the lyrics of the '66 "Good Vibrations" better. Expand
  97. Stevie
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    Surf's Up is the greatest pop song ever created, and is essential listening for any human even slightly considering had this album originally been released when intended, it would've topped Sgt. Pepper's. Get this album immediately!! Even George Martin said that Brian Wilson was the biggest influence on the Beatles post-Rubber Soul and that Pet Sounds was the type of album Surf's Up is the greatest pop song ever created, and is essential listening for any human even slightly considering had this album originally been released when intended, it would've topped Sgt. Pepper's. Get this album immediately!! Even George Martin said that Brian Wilson was the biggest influence on the Beatles post-Rubber Soul and that Pet Sounds was the type of album the Beatles were trying to make. That's praise as high as it goes folks. Expand
  98. GaryE
    Oct 14, 2004
    10
    Now we can see how expendable the rest of the Beach Boys really were. Brian was obviously the brains of the outfit.
  99. AaronS.
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    Better late than never. This beautiful musical curiosity sounds like nothing else, totally unclassifiable. It sounds as out of place today as it would have back in 1967! Highly recommended to those with adventurous tastes.
  100. StillaKidAtheart
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    Simply a Masterpiece! I first heard Sgt. Pepper's at the age of 14, and I have the same kind of feeling listening to Smile today...I can't stop listening to it...Thank you, Brian...You reached me.
Metascore
97

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Smile is quite simply the greatest triumph in the history of pop music.
  2. Smile's post-adolescent utopia isn't disfigured by Brian's thickened, soured 62-year-old voice. It's ennobled--the material limitations of its sunny artifice and pretentious tomfoolery acknowledged and joyfully engaged.
  3. "Smile" emerges as a beautiful and cohesive work, at times deeply moving, at others oddly whimsical, at still others eerily disturbing but celebratory. [27 Sep 2004]