SMiLE - Brian Wilson
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 434 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 434

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  1. Oct 2, 2011
    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 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
  2. Jan 24, 2011
    It's not for everyone. It never was really. One reason it wasn't released in 1967 is Brian didn't think anyone would understand it. And, just looking at the "user" scores, that hasn't changed. It's music that goes a lot deeper than some people are worth going when listening. I think it's perfect. It took me a couple years, when it first came out, i didn't really listen. I thought it was odd. Then I got into Pet Sounds, and i listened to original SMiLE recordings, and it all clicked. It's music that Wilson was doing because that's what he wanted. There's no pretentious in it at all. Pure genuine, amazing, emotional music. We don't get enough anymore, and because of that, not everyone is attuned to this perfection. Also, the coda to "surf's up" might be the most moving thing ever. Expand
  3. Feb 24, 2012
    Smile was and is a landmark in pop music. Building on his masterful work on Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson creates a complex, moving and bewildering flow of music.
  4. Mar 21, 2011
    The greatest album of all time. Without a doubt. Despite being 37 years old, and with Brian's voice not being anywhere near what it used to be... it's is still astonishing. A tapestry of sounds, imagery, words, ideas and spiritual energies. You have to be fairly bright to "get it".. but my god, if you do.
  5. Sep 29, 2011
    This is an incredible album--the arrangements are interesting and tasteful as **** the songs are awesome, and all of the leitmotifs in the music/lyrics make for a very cohesive album that rewards repeated listens. Emphasis on that last bit--this is a much more "dense" album than Pet Sounds or anything else The Beach Boys/Brian Wilson have created. I didn't like this album too much my first time through; a few listens later, though, it started to grow on me, and now it's one of my favorite albums of all time. The only reason this doesn't have a 10/10 is because Brian Wilson's voice, while good for his age, detracts a bit from the whole thing. The backing vocalists are all very good, but nothing is better than 60s Beach Boys harmonies. Oh any case, this album is really worth checking out if you aren't put off by having to take some time to "explore" it fully. Expand
  6. Apr 9, 2012
    Surf's up is possibly the best song ever made and Smile is possibly one of the best albums ever made/not made. 2nd only to Pet Sounds, Smile in its newest most complete incarnation is ecstasy.
  7. Oct 22, 2014
    The last thing these circle-jerky boys will ever care about is music. After properly absorbing this album with nothing else in my mind but the tunes, following the songs wherever they went, like a good, unpretending, non-dense music listener, and getting all that elation into my life, I made the mistake to go look for reviews to see if anyone else understood why this is the greatest pop music album ever made. I'm very stoic and rational about this, it's just there, bros. All the reviews I saw were all about Brian this, acid that, Mike Love that, or they would talk about the damn packaging, the bonus discs, anything but the music. It's bizarre. It's like they're deliberately avoiding to talk about the music. My conspiracy theorist side yells "The powers that be won't let this sh*t fly!" but the truth is that they're simply forgetting to talk about the music. Because they're stupid. These little internet writers, man. These little writers and career "music fans" all have their little agenda that they simply cannot take some time from. All the talk about it being incomplete. It's not all incomplete. A little imagination will take care of that for you. Noise about being disappointed about it coming out now because they'd rather have the mystery. Laughing my ass off. That's like screaming F*ck music! I'll have celebrity drama over it anyday lol! C'mon and think about the pettiness of thinking like that. I read somewhere that this album is "no musical watershed on Sergeant Pepper"... Son... please... Surf's Up alone destroys that whole thing. What's better than Surf's Up or Cabin Essence in there? A Day In The Life? That lazy songwriting that goes nowhere and accomplishes nothing? Is Wonderful not the spiritual better to Lucy In The Sky? What about the structure of Smile man, has anybody taken time to assimilate the structure, the master flow of the beginning with americana, the intensity of those four songs that make the middle section - it is really a deep and introspective trip all by itself, and I personally never heard anything more intense, getting real at Child Is Father of the Man then going ever deeper down on Surf's Up, what is that song emotionally?! - Then Workshop as a little moment to let things breathe as you realize how great it's all been so far (even that is part of the nonstop flow of this album) and then that string of gems: Vegetables being the happiest thing ever, with that sassy and godlike instrumental fade out that literally no one has ever talked about, the badass classical flourish in the Holidays verses, going into that part with the marimbas that is the apex of the childlike quality throughout this piece, (cantata, so many words for it), that heavenly chant at the end that exemplifies how spiritual and holy are actually keywords for this thing, the benediction at the end of Love to Say Dada, loveable even though aggressively incomplete, then the final lightning bolt of divine with Good Vibrations. But oh wowzers, There's a reprise of the opening track right before the last song in Sgt. Pepper's!! Amazeballs!! Full circle you f*cking plebs!! Got to keep sucking John Lennon's ghost dick I guess lmao. I'm a Beatles fan too but relax... Then there's the ones that say Pet Sounds is better than Smile. Look, you might have some history with that album... Maybe it helped you get over a girl that kicked your little heart in the balls or whatever but other than that it's all status quo and hot air and I'ma need y'all to sit down as well. Don't get me wrong, I know it's heavenly too but see, that's just how good Smile is! Either that or Brian and Carl Wilson are wrong and you're right, by all means man, f*ck me in the ass... It's all sad but also very routine; it's almost obvious to anyone with a realistic view of what this world is that something that good will not be embraced by the general populace. This album is extra-world. It's spiritual, it's a notch up, it is Next Level. People in the way they operate, living their lil' lives and all, are simply not gonna get it or even care really. I get it, and I forgive you. You weren't raised right. In another world maybe. But hey, man, you're missing out on the real deal. For quick summary: Holy Grail of Pop, Next level holy vibes, not for the basic. Expand

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]