SMiLE

  • Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Sep 28, 2004
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 466 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 466

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  1. TazmanianDevil
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    Can't stop listening... enjoy every moment of this CD
  2. alc
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    love this album the most!!
  3. GeraldK
    Oct 22, 2004
    10
    True, Pet Sounds has more great songs and none of the Smile songs reach the utter heavenly transcience of say God Only Knows, Caroline No or I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, but this is still clearly the best album of the year and Brian Wilson's greatest solo achievment. I still have a bit of a tendency to like the older version of these songs just a bit more, mainly because True, Pet Sounds has more great songs and none of the Smile songs reach the utter heavenly transcience of say God Only Knows, Caroline No or I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, but this is still clearly the best album of the year and Brian Wilson's greatest solo achievment. I still have a bit of a tendency to like the older version of these songs just a bit more, mainly because it is much clearer to the listener just how far ahead of its time the original was (let's be honest, pop music has caught up with Smile) but had the original album been released in 1967 I think it could have surpassed Sgt. Peppers in overall brilliance and song quality. The structure and composition of these tracks is complete and utter genius. No listener with even the slightest discernable ear can deny Brian is the greatest pop musician ever and his songs will live forever. BTW, it truly does get better the more times you listen to it, and how many albums can you say that abot anyway? Expand
  4. midnightdread
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    SMiLE delivers while most of the rest get stamped 'address unknown'. Makes Beatles apprentices. Makes negative reviewers on this forum over-compensating sour-full reactionaries and cranky contrarians; reminiscent of those who replaced sixties' epiphanies with recycled rock cliches, derivative and forever boring. Except for Bob Marley & reggae, we've been going SMiLE delivers while most of the rest get stamped 'address unknown'. Makes Beatles apprentices. Makes negative reviewers on this forum over-compensating sour-full reactionaries and cranky contrarians; reminiscent of those who replaced sixties' epiphanies with recycled rock cliches, derivative and forever boring. Except for Bob Marley & reggae, we've been going 'Nowhere Man' fast. PET SOUNDS better? SMiLE is THE album 'where new things might be found', as Brian sang in "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times". Listen up tin-ears and tin-horns. Saddle up to the renaissance (circa late 1966 thru early 1968) that many in this age were lucky enough to live through. Many of us never wanted to "Get Back" or "Do It Again" or "Let It Bleed". Rather than pull back from the precipice Brian Wilson soars. Forward ever. 'Give the past the slip'. Get out of the doldrums & noise of modern life where everyone prostrates themselves at the Altar of Job Security. See (LOOK!) & Hear (LISTEN!) where we were Headed (VIBRATE!) until devolutionary heads & blue meanies prevailed. Here's my review written in the (SMiLE!) spirit: 'Van & Brian's Lull Will Seem Brief, An Inn Significant Interlude, A Deep Breadth, So The Finishing Touches, Delayed Rightly So, A Children's Song, A Teenage Symphony, Completed With Maturity, Farther Of The Man, Glorious Beyond Belief.' Expand
  5. jonh
    Dec 31, 2004
    10
    if possible, I'd take this music to those who have never heard it-a musical missionary if you will-to not hear this glorious soundscape can be nothing but a lost connection with sheer musical perfection-
  6. NickK
    Oct 24, 2004
    10
    I didn't think it was a good idea that Brain was re-recording SMiLE from scratch. However, he proved me wrong-- this is a masterful psychedelic pop opera, and I enjoy it much more than the bits and scraps we've been listening to for the last decade through bootlegs and official Beach Boy releases.
  7. RICHARDB
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    Not much to say, except "blown away!" This goes into my top 5 of all time. The tracks released on the Good Vibrations box set really wetted my appetite, and now the complete album...it's....it's...words don't do justice.
  8. bingobongo
    Oct 20, 2004
    7
    Good, but not-so-good. Sgt. Pepper is far better, and I understand why Brian Wilson, obsessed by Beatles, destroyed this album. He wanted realize something better, but he couldn't. Pet Sounds remains his best.
  9. JM
    Oct 3, 2004
    10
    Who would have thought it could turn out this good almost 40 yrs later? I can't stop listening to it!!!
  10. JimM
    Oct 30, 2004
    10
    Great music, great composer, GREAT band! Brian's band pulls off what the Beach Boys never could. I can't get enough of this CD!
  11. BrianF
    Oct 4, 2004
    9
    The second "suite" is worth the purchase price alone...brilliantly beautiful! Deduct 1 point for the odd animal and power tool songs - give me more music!
  12. RobbieW
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    I always thought "Pet Sounds" was the best LP Brian Wilson would ever make. Now I have to say that "Smile" is even better. Even though I had high expectations, this CD has exceeded them. A++++
  13. ChristopherF
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    A wonderful concept album fully realized. Comparisons to Sgt. Peppers are not inaccurate because Sgt Pepper isn't a concept album: it has no central theme. Brian Wilson is a phoenix rising form the ashes, again.
  14. Eoin
    Oct 5, 2004
    8
    A good album, but the songs are not as strong as on Pet Sounds. But as concept albums go it's quite good.
  15. paula
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    the best 45 minutes of popular music i've ever heard.
  16. NickJ
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    Prepare yourself for something new at every listen. A superb mix of feelgood pop, art opus and grand slam genius eccentricity. However in terms of mood, for 'eccentricity' replace this word with 'electricity' as far as this bands performance goes.
  17. DennisS
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    Words could not describe the first time I heard it!! It is by far the best rock concept album of all time!!! A true Brian Wilson Masterpiece!!!!!
  18. DamonF
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    When I heard this album after hearing the reviews, I am convinced that it has already obliterated every album made this year, out of the sky. This includes the new Morrissey album. This is how a decent album should be made by an artist. Sung brilliantly and layered and arranged without the use of meaningless computer technology
  19. GaryR
    Jan 13, 2005
    10
    Awe-struck! More appreciated in 2004/5 than it would've been in 1967. Actually makes the music of 67 and yes even Peppe, sound dated. Smile was made for these times!
  20. BrianY
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    A triumph of the human spirit and a beautiful piece of utterly fun, pop, perfection. The best album in years.
  21. PeterB
    Jan 19, 2005
    10
    Astounding!
  22. Suzan
    Dec 16, 2005
    10
    Melodic, masterly crafted, way ahead of its time for the late 60's, simply smile-worthy!!
  23. GaryN
    Jan 5, 2005
    10
    Outstanding CD. Complex music that grabs you from the first listen. Unique, expanding the meaning of rock music. Vocals are complicated but catchy so they don't leave your head. Heard it several times and it gets better with every listen.
  24. JR
    Jan 6, 2005
    10
    The album is a real trip...itll put you in mind states you cant get out of other music... like 'Cabin-essence", it really makes you think your in a home out on the range... and i think its safe to say the last track of the second (cycle of life) movement.."Surf's Up", whether you hear the new version or the old (on brians original demo),, it still will leave you in awe if you The album is a real trip...itll put you in mind states you cant get out of other music... like 'Cabin-essence", it really makes you think your in a home out on the range... and i think its safe to say the last track of the second (cycle of life) movement.."Surf's Up", whether you hear the new version or the old (on brians original demo),, it still will leave you in awe if you sit and listen to the lyrics... Thanks to Mr. Wilson for the finished work. -Jr Expand
  25. DaveD
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    Best album since Brainwashed. That's along time.
  26. AllanH
    Feb 16, 2005
    10
    Everything you hoped and dreamed it would be and more. For it not only to live up to it's legendary reputations after all these year, but exceed it is a simply remarkable acheivement.
  27. GraemeH
    Mar 28, 2005
    5
    Did they put the wrong CD in the case when I bought this? I bought based upon these reviews but was disappointed. It's OK but not great.
  28. JürgenR
    Mar 4, 2005
    10
    The best album of all time!!!
  29. MichaelV
    Mar 7, 2005
    4
    Comparisons to Beatles Sgt. Pepper. Critics are dreaming. My copy of this is for sale. Very disappointing.
  30. TomF
    May 13, 2005
    10
    SMiLE is just undoubtedly the greatest music ever written. While the new tracks are missing a little of the heart of the 1967 tracks, they are close enough. The production on this album has yet to be tested by another musician.
  31. matta
    May 27, 2005
    9
    Not as classic as "Pet Sounds" but still amazing, especially considering this was really all written back in the 60's. Too bad that it wasn't released back then, becuase if it had been, it probably would have the same status as Pet Sounds does today. IN any case, it is a great album, but something has definetely been lost by the four decade delay of the release.
  32. ScottS
    Jun 25, 2005
    5
    Come on people, get a clue. The only people calling Brian Wilson a "genius" are critics. Critics are writers, not musicians. Take this tape to any knowledgeable composer or anyone with an undergraduate background in music theory, and they would laugh at it. Aren't we becoming a little too liberal with the use of the word "genius"? This is nothing more than average music by an average Come on people, get a clue. The only people calling Brian Wilson a "genius" are critics. Critics are writers, not musicians. Take this tape to any knowledgeable composer or anyone with an undergraduate background in music theory, and they would laugh at it. Aren't we becoming a little too liberal with the use of the word "genius"? This is nothing more than average music by an average songwriter (not composer). Decent, and fun to listen to, but no I am sorry he is not one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. Sheeesh.... Expand
  33. ChadS
    Jun 26, 2005
    6
    I'm not purposely trying to be a dissenting voice just for the sake of being controversial, but I'd rather listen to "Let it Shine" and "Melt Away" from Brian Wilson's self-titled album than anything on "Smile", with the possible exception of "Heroes & Villians" and "Surf's Up". If you're a hardcore Brian Wilson fan, you might enjoy the novel "Fuel-Injected I'm not purposely trying to be a dissenting voice just for the sake of being controversial, but I'd rather listen to "Let it Shine" and "Melt Away" from Brian Wilson's self-titled album than anything on "Smile", with the possible exception of "Heroes & Villians" and "Surf's Up". If you're a hardcore Brian Wilson fan, you might enjoy the novel "Fuel-Injected Dreams" by the late James Robert Baker. There's a character that's obviously based on Wilson, and music that is meant to evoke "Smile". Cindy Lee Berryhill also wrote a wonderfully loopy tribute to Brian called "Song for Brian"(from "Garage Orchestra") that's more fun than anything on this disappointing "masterpiece". But god only knows this is a quantum leap in creativity from "Imagination". It is my hope that Wilson would team up with somebody like the guy from The Apples in Stereo with Jeff Lynne as the producer. Expand
  34. CaseyB
    Jun 5, 2005
    5
    I wouldn't call it a disappointment, 'cos it's a pleasant surprise that it ended up seeing the light of day, but SMiLE is definitely *not* a masterpiece, and I'll lay 5-to-1 that most of the people who gave it 10 on this page have already filed it back into their larger CD collection where it remains undisturbed. There are classic tracks here - "Heroes and Villains", I wouldn't call it a disappointment, 'cos it's a pleasant surprise that it ended up seeing the light of day, but SMiLE is definitely *not* a masterpiece, and I'll lay 5-to-1 that most of the people who gave it 10 on this page have already filed it back into their larger CD collection where it remains undisturbed. There are classic tracks here - "Heroes and Villains", "Good Vibrations", "Cabinessence", "Wonderful", even "Surf's Up" if the lyrics aren't too arch for you - but given that they've all seen the light of day before in superior versions, it's not much to get excited about. (Some might argue for these versions, but I'd be interested to find *anyone* who thinks the 2004 "Good Vibrations" is in *any* way an improvement on the original.) Brian Wilson's singing - though better than on other recent BW recordings (and, unless my ears deceive me, rather heavily pitch-corrected) - cannot help but reflect the stroke damage; of course, he's also 35 years older and it would be ridiculous to expect him to sing as if he'd just finished making "Pet Sounds". The instrumentation is strong, if occasionally a little hamfisted. I smell a repackaging of the '67 sessions just around the corner, and suspect that *that* release will be the one that people will choose to remember as "SMiLE". If they choose to remember that it was released at all. The album has a startling lack of thematic unity - it's about, wait for it, the settling of America and the taming of the West, childhood and the elements. Overreach much? It doesn't actually have anything profound to say about any of these topics, and posters here who find it necessary to mock "Sgt. Pepper" (another faux-concept album of the time) on the basis of its "catchy little songs about meter maids" are displaying incredibly selective vision. "Vegetables"? "I'm In Great Shape"? Wilson once said that "SMiLE" was planned to be his "teenage symphony to God", but the notion suits "Pet Sounds" far more. If Beatles/Beach Boys comparisons must be made (and I'm puzzled as to exactly what they achieve), "SMiLE"'s fellow-traveller is the White Album - fragmented, with some moments of gentle beauty and others of apparent insanity. Look, anything's better than nothing from Brian Wilson at this stage, and we're lucky to see "SMiLE" in any shape at all. We're just not quite as lucky as some folks would have you believe. Expand
  35. SteveP
    Jul 4, 2005
    5
    Hugely overrated. I believed the hype ... the missing masterpiece ... the follow up to Pet Sounds. All the hype is rubbish. If the album had come out 37 years ago it would now be considered a very average 60's album with a couple of good tracks.
  36. TristramC
    Sep 6, 2005
    9
    This disc is just a tease. As 'wonderful' as it is, it is impossible to enjoy it without wondering how it would have sounded in the late 60s with the same energy and exhuberance Brian and the boys had when they released Pet Sounds. And that is another thing. Even though Mike Love hated it, I want to hear the other Beach Boys on this recording instead of the Starlight Mints (or This disc is just a tease. As 'wonderful' as it is, it is impossible to enjoy it without wondering how it would have sounded in the late 60s with the same energy and exhuberance Brian and the boys had when they released Pet Sounds. And that is another thing. Even though Mike Love hated it, I want to hear the other Beach Boys on this recording instead of the Starlight Mints (or whoever Brians backing band is; I forget to be honest) That said, nothing came close to it regarding Album of the Year. 2004 had its stories; the Arcade Fire and Devendra Banhart being among the best, but not even they could compete with the release of he most anticipated record in pop history and even as a relative success, it blew everything else away. Expand
  37. AH
    Nov 20, 2006
    2
    Credit must be given to the level of creativity and variety on this album. In saying that however, variety without purpose and cohesion can be a bad thing and this album, after about Track 11, becomes really tiresome. Track 12 Vega-tables is just a montage of goofy sounds and nonsense.
  38. ChrisB
    Oct 30, 2006
    10
    The most artistic album of all time. This proves that Brian does not need those coat-tail riding, freeloading Beach Boys. Here is a group of dedicated musicians doing justice to some of the most original American music since Copeland. God Save Brian Wilson!
  39. SeamusS
    Mar 30, 2006
    10
    Okay Okay, So everyone here likes to disagree for the sake of being different eh? That's what I'm getting. First of all Drew M Get a life your self. It's an album of love, relativly harmless. Though it may have gone over your head, I'll just pitty you and forget about it instead of finding out what you like and rating it with a 0 after never listening to it. The album Okay Okay, So everyone here likes to disagree for the sake of being different eh? That's what I'm getting. First of all Drew M Get a life your self. It's an album of love, relativly harmless. Though it may have gone over your head, I'll just pitty you and forget about it instead of finding out what you like and rating it with a 0 after never listening to it. The album is a masterpiece in and out of the context of it's creation. It was a labor of love that needs to be looked at. From the first notes, the harmonies and complex sonic beauty that is Brian Wilson filles the air around you. At the same time, it captures themes of innocnece which, when reflected upon by many, can seem childish and even stupid. Those who reflect it as that are often bitter for it going over their heads or them taking it too seriously. I cant ramble any more because it'll just be more hot air. It's a fucking masterpiece I really have no time for those who are so bitter Expand
  40. cliftonb
    Apr 3, 2006
    10
    To all of you that rated the album low here is a suggestion. Take a msic class so you may possibly begin to wrap your brain around the beautiful and complex work on this album. Why do the critics like it? Because its damn good!I honestly feel bad for those of you who don't get it. You can say what do the critics know but the awnser is this a whole lot more than us especially those of To all of you that rated the album low here is a suggestion. Take a msic class so you may possibly begin to wrap your brain around the beautiful and complex work on this album. Why do the critics like it? Because its damn good!I honestly feel bad for those of you who don't get it. You can say what do the critics know but the awnser is this a whole lot more than us especially those of you whom have never studied music. if they dont convince you remember that Leonard Bernstien one of the greatest american composers singles out material from this album to show the world that the future of music was not completely lost. Expand
  41. NathanG
    May 6, 2006
    1
    The Emporer Has No Clothes
  42. MeatMuffin
    Jun 10, 2006
    10
    The people who are giving this album a 10 seem to be generally smarter than the ones who are giving it lower scores. Just read the reviews below this one.
  43. EricY
    Jun 17, 2006
    0
    why critics always against the good musics, this is the E era, young peoples are the main consumer of the music industry!!
  44. JasonF
    Jan 10, 2007
    1
    Complicated? Yes. Good? Helllll no. One of the worst albums I've ever heard. I really wanted to like it too.
  45. lonnieM
    Oct 10, 2007
    10
    Smile..... A masterpiece in many ways.... to many ways to put into words.... Listen to the album alone, without distraction, and any negative thoughts of the record will disappear..... I'm just glad I had the experience of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks seeing this vision through. The record is and always will be ahead of it's time.
  46. KitS
    Jan 5, 2007
    10
    I am an old Beach Boys fan, born in 1952. My wife and I saw Brian Wilson and his band perform this at Warner Theatre, Washington, DC, Oct. of 2004. It was the best concert that either of us had ever attended. Despite the fact that we are two shy white nerds, we were dancing to the Beach Boys tunes they did after Smile was performed. We bought the album Smile and the DVD, listened to it I am an old Beach Boys fan, born in 1952. My wife and I saw Brian Wilson and his band perform this at Warner Theatre, Washington, DC, Oct. of 2004. It was the best concert that either of us had ever attended. Despite the fact that we are two shy white nerds, we were dancing to the Beach Boys tunes they did after Smile was performed. We bought the album Smile and the DVD, listened to it many times. We are silly, nerdy people and both vegetarians. We LOVE the Vega-tables tune. As for power tools and barn yard animal noises, we found this funny and whimsical, comic relief. The composition, the arrangements, the performances, it is all top rate. We find it very positive, spiritual, uplifting, a bright light of inspiration. Smile is lots better than the pop, "house music" and rap garbage that pretentiously poses as "music" these days. Brian Wilson is a master and he and his work deserve some serious respect. Expand
  47. BrendanD
    Feb 19, 2007
    6
    Before I begin my review, I want to make something very clear: I worship at the temple of Brian Wilson. "Today!" is my favorite Beach Boys record, but, with the exception of "MIU Album," I love everything the Boys did from the early '60s through 1979's "L.A." I also enjoy the Wilson-Paley Sessions, and I even have a very special guilty pleasure song for the sample-heavy Wilson Before I begin my review, I want to make something very clear: I worship at the temple of Brian Wilson. "Today!" is my favorite Beach Boys record, but, with the exception of "MIU Album," I love everything the Boys did from the early '60s through 1979's "L.A." I also enjoy the Wilson-Paley Sessions, and I even have a very special guilty pleasure song for the sample-heavy Wilson rap spectacular/debacle (depending on one's point of view), "Smart Girls." When Wilson first announced he'd be performing "Smile" live, I was ecstatic; when I finally heard a copy of the live shows, I was even more enthralled. Pieces I'd been assembling for years fit together almost, though not quite, how I'd envisioned. "Holidays" sounded magnificent, "Vega-Tables" hilarious, and "Child is Father of the Man" more haunting than I ever would have dreamed. I couldn't wait for Wilson to release the album version, but my hope was that it'd be the concert, much like he had for "Pet Sounds Live." The album, as it stands today, isn't what it should be, and it certainly isn't what it was. In 1967, "Smile" would have been as revolutionary, and perhaps moreso, than the "Good Vibrations" single. But there's a lot missing. First and foremost, the production is awful. That's not to say that it's bad production on Wilson's, or anyone else's, part; rather, it's the wrong kind of production for this type of music. Computer editing works incredibly well for the bands Wilson and his Boys influenced -- acts like the Flaming Lips, the Super Furry Animals, and the Polyphonic Spree --, but left to Wilson, it simply comes off as hackneyed. This is most likely due to rock music's having advanced almost forty years between the original recording and the eventual release of "Smile." However, there's a bigger issue here: musicianship. No, Wilson's voice isn't what it was, but the backing band he's been using on tour is more than capable of picking up the slack on the road. That's fine for tours, but in the studio, these folks aren't capable of the magic of the six Beach Boys and the Wrecking Crew, which recorded most of the Boys' backing tracks in the '60s. There are little changes that don't work as well. The tinny harpsichord from the '60s sessions are replaced by a much more digital-sounding one, and the result makes the sound of "Heroes and Villains" go from a crazy acid trip to a mellow pharmaceutical high, "Wind Chimes" from hauntingly serene to childishly incompetent. No one is able to capture the "You're under arrest" line from "H&V" quite like Denny Wilson did. And most violatingly, the reversion to Tony Asher's lyrics for "Good Vibrations" is an unbelievably bad choice. Although I champion re-upping the "Hum-be-dum" chorus tag, which is among the most beautiful ideas Wilson's ever had, and though I hate admitting it because I dislike the man so very much, Mike Love's lyrics really were better. Finally, whereas "Smile Live" was literally that -- alive --, "Smile: The Album" sounds flat and dead and mundanely average. Wilson is capable of great things, especially with concerts; but this album is a true-blue disappointment. If you really want to get a look at what "Smile" is all about, find a bootleg of the session tapes, and then watch the "Smile Live" DVD; but skipping this tepid recording won't ruin your life or musical experience at all. Expand
  48. daveb
    Jul 21, 2007
    6
    Just listen to Good Vibrations here and then the original, and you should know damn well why this isn't a 10/10 album. The warmth is gone, replaced by an old man and studio singers. Ruminations on the failing of the male ego? Shut the fuck up. It's a nostalgic CD about a dead culture, and teenagers trying to pretend they're all grown up. That is all. It doesn't compare Just listen to Good Vibrations here and then the original, and you should know damn well why this isn't a 10/10 album. The warmth is gone, replaced by an old man and studio singers. Ruminations on the failing of the male ego? Shut the fuck up. It's a nostalgic CD about a dead culture, and teenagers trying to pretend they're all grown up. That is all. It doesn't compare to Pet Sounds at all. Expand
  49. KjellB
    Nov 13, 2008
    10
    At first I was like Brian... what is this? I listened to the album once in 2004, then in 2006, I found it buried in my collection. It wasn't until about the fourth listen when it hit me! This album is one of the best albums of all time. In this day and age of "cookie cutter" music peoples ears have become def to great music and I could of been one of those people. Brian Wilson's At first I was like Brian... what is this? I listened to the album once in 2004, then in 2006, I found it buried in my collection. It wasn't until about the fourth listen when it hit me! This album is one of the best albums of all time. In this day and age of "cookie cutter" music peoples ears have become def to great music and I could of been one of those people. Brian Wilson's Smile breaths life into a dying music industry, and i can only imagine what music would sound like if it had been released back in the day. Most people, especially my age (28) wont get it and thats just sad! Expand
  50. dh
    Feb 20, 2008
    10
    Perfect. Only comparable to the Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  51. nickm.
    Feb 8, 2008
    8
    This isn't the highest rated album on metacritic. The highest rated is London Calling by The Clash, which scored a 100. My score is just the avg, this isn't my actual score.
  52. MartinP
    Apr 25, 2008
    7
    I haven't listened to this album but i find the fact that some people are rating it 10 to counter the people who rate it 0 which are countering the general reviewers.
  53. SameerV.
    May 7, 2008
    10
    This is one of the greatest albums. I think it's up there with pepper. Sure, it probably would sound better if all the beach boys were on it and this was 66', but it's still great. It takes a couple of listens. Keep in mind, most of this was written in 66'. If it came out then, I think people would have appreciated it more.
  54. ClifC.
    Jun 22, 2008
    1
    Is this a joke?! It's not because he's from The Beach Boys band and that he produces music that were good for 60's and 70's that this album deserves 97 of 100 in average of all music critics. It's a shame! This album has nothing to do in the 2000's (I really love 60's and 70's music too, but keep in mind that this album is old-fashioned and with no Is this a joke?! It's not because he's from The Beach Boys band and that he produces music that were good for 60's and 70's that this album deserves 97 of 100 in average of all music critics. It's a shame! This album has nothing to do in the 2000's (I really love 60's and 70's music too, but keep in mind that this album is old-fashioned and with no interest! It's an "already heard". No originality, N-O-T-H-I-N-G!). Expand
  55. AndyD.
    Jun 8, 2008
    10
    Truly stunning music. Love it!
  56. ButchAutomatic
    Aug 11, 2008
    2
    Ouch! Brian, like Paul McCartney, should relaize when it is time to sit back and enjoy their spoils. Guys - you did well - it's time to stop before you implode and totally ruin what could be fond memories for us. LEARN A NEW HOBBY!
  57. kaylix
    Aug 9, 2008
    2
    What is going on here? This wasn't as great as the reviewers claim. I could barely listen to the whole album. Based on the reviews I kept hoping there was something better in the next track. I gave up and deleted it from my music library.
  58. Steve
    Sep 23, 2008
    10
    SMiLE is an album that some will simply never get. The layer of harmonies, the change in tempo, the strange unconventional instruments, it's bound to get 0s from people quick to judge. However, it will be an album that will stand the test of time and technically it already has. This is simply a re-recording of what Brian was working on in 1966-67 and it's still being praised. SMiLE is an album that some will simply never get. The layer of harmonies, the change in tempo, the strange unconventional instruments, it's bound to get 0s from people quick to judge. However, it will be an album that will stand the test of time and technically it already has. This is simply a re-recording of what Brian was working on in 1966-67 and it's still being praised. This album is simply amazing and most certainly deserves a 10. Expand
  59. ConradC.
    Dec 16, 2009
    10
    Worth every minute of the wait!
  60. peter
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    Beautiful and haunting. I cant imagine how anyone could walk away from this unchanged.
  61. KimM
    May 2, 2009
    9
    Simply superb.
  62. ToddS
    May 9, 2009
    10
    Absolute perfection!
  63. SethG.
    Jul 13, 2009
    10
    I've listened to this album so much. At least once a week, sometimes much more. It's so good!
  64. TiagoA.
    Sep 18, 2009
    10
    A great album, this have soul and it's brilliant.
  65. AdamS
    Sep 8, 2009
    7
    Sounds like a good album, but 97! I think this score may have been boosted by critics nostalgia trips.
  66. Dri
    Jan 15, 2010
    10
    Classic album of a genius.
  67. RobertB.
    Jan 8, 2010
    10
    I love this album. He makes it all seem so easy. Don't think I have ever listened to a pop record that is this far ahead of the game.
  68. ChrisH
    Nov 1, 2004
    10
    Remember 2004 when that SMILE album came out and those who weren't old enough in the 60s said oh that beach boy album concept thing with two old hits on it - Heroes and Villains and Good Vibrations. Bla Bla. Well we can all lose touch. It doesn't matter Brian Wilson did it. It's an album about the ups and downs of the American dream. The music is brilliant. It's Remember 2004 when that SMILE album came out and those who weren't old enough in the 60s said oh that beach boy album concept thing with two old hits on it - Heroes and Villains and Good Vibrations. Bla Bla. Well we can all lose touch. It doesn't matter Brian Wilson did it. It's an album about the ups and downs of the American dream. The music is brilliant. It's relevant to the times. It inspires. Very simple in SMILE there is hope. Expand
  69. BrianV
    Nov 13, 2004
    10
    Absolutely, genius. Brian Wilson and his masterwork. Thank you for giving us this Brian.
  70. steveb
    Nov 18, 2004
    10
    This is one of those rare pieces of music that keeps life worth living. For all of the people who rated thus poorly, I feel very badly for you, open your mind and ears and listen. There are few musical treasures that can match this. This is as good as Pet Sounds, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Highway 61 Revisted, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or Imperial Bedroom. This is a classic. Forget the new This is one of those rare pieces of music that keeps life worth living. For all of the people who rated thus poorly, I feel very badly for you, open your mind and ears and listen. There are few musical treasures that can match this. This is as good as Pet Sounds, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Highway 61 Revisted, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or Imperial Bedroom. This is a classic. Forget the new Papa Roach or whatever the heck you will be mis-spending your money on. This will grow with you, not be an embarrasing phase of your development. Expand
  71. LynnC.
    Nov 20, 2004
    10
    It's amazing. It's so musically sophisticated. There's really nothing like it out there still. It feels more like musical progression has gone backwards since 1967, when this would have come out originally. If it would have, I bet Beach Boys would be thought of very different than they are today. It's so joyous yet odd. Love it. Can't quit listening.
  72. DavidR
    Oct 12, 2004
    10
    First listen, I liked it but thought it was a bit odd. Then pieces began to surface in my memory. After a few more listens, I convinced it's one of the most original, wonderful, pieces I've ever heard. I love it.
  73. FatciderjohnTheBassbeast
    Nov 26, 2004
    10
    This arrived the day before my first born son-Lucas. Frankly, I've not stopped playing it. Complete Wilson Genius. Incredible, I really did think Brian had lost it until this. I knew it would be good after seeing it live in the summer. I just knew it! Brian I love you. A thousand thankyoooooos.
  74. DevinB
    Oct 13, 2004
    10
    Brilliant and heartbreaking, the work of a true virtuoso. Besides being immensely catchy and infectious in its moods, the three-suite style of circular song-structure makes this Brian's strongest album, surpassing the genius even of Pet Sounds. Sure, the highlights on Pet Sounds are insurmountable and make for unfair comparison. Smile, however, in its ambitious scope and flawless Brilliant and heartbreaking, the work of a true virtuoso. Besides being immensely catchy and infectious in its moods, the three-suite style of circular song-structure makes this Brian's strongest album, surpassing the genius even of Pet Sounds. Sure, the highlights on Pet Sounds are insurmountable and make for unfair comparison. Smile, however, in its ambitious scope and flawless execution demands canonization as well. Expand
  75. JoeM
    Oct 14, 2004
    10
    I am biased and a huge Brian Wilson fan and I admit that, but SMiLE, 38 years late is still a triumph. Believe it or not, it is even better and more powerful performed live. I love this music!
  76. RyanM.
    Oct 2, 2004
    8
    It's good. But, seemingly, people seem to think after keeping a good record on the shelf for 37 years it becomes great. This may be true for wine, but not for "Smile". Though this is a solid album, and better than most crap that's out today, it's not great...then, or now.
  77. FrankA
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    SMiLE's time is NOW!
  78. RichH
    Oct 22, 2004
    10
    Greater than the sum of it's parts this record satisfies. There are moments when the music felt so right that tears welled up and I got a lump in my throat. Only the very best can do this to me.
  79. evans
    Dec 23, 2004
    4
    Most of these songs were first released on 'Smiley Smile' via Brother Records in '67 or '68. They sounded fresher, more unique, 37 years ago. Having closely followed Brain Wilson's music for more than 40 years, the current emphasis on his genius is misdirected toward this album. His true greatness can better be heard in several underplayed songs that the group Most of these songs were first released on 'Smiley Smile' via Brother Records in '67 or '68. They sounded fresher, more unique, 37 years ago. Having closely followed Brain Wilson's music for more than 40 years, the current emphasis on his genius is misdirected toward this album. His true greatness can better be heard in several underplayed songs that the group recorded through the mid '70's. Compositions such as "I Can Hear Music", "Time to Get Alone", "Add Some Music", and Sail on Sailor" to name a few, provide much clearer insight into Wilson's greatness, and the unique musicianship of the group. Expand
  80. davidj
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    The 37 year wait and finally......its here,probably the greatest album in the world.....EVER....Brian Wilson The Messiah brings a Masterpiece to his loving flock.
  81. CaptainStubing
    Dec 2, 2004
    10
    I attended two SMiLE live performances in early 2004. I did not know anything about the way Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks had decided to finalize the concept, and was literally blown away by the beauty of it all. Of course I was conversant with most existing unofficial material, but that didn't even remotely prepare me for the finished product. Now that the studio CD version is in I attended two SMiLE live performances in early 2004. I did not know anything about the way Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks had decided to finalize the concept, and was literally blown away by the beauty of it all. Of course I was conversant with most existing unofficial material, but that didn't even remotely prepare me for the finished product. Now that the studio CD version is in our hands, I can say that it belongs up there with a few other really unmissable albums in my collection. I also saw the excellent TV documentary 'Beautiful Dreamer - BW and the making of SMiLE' by David Leaf. I can strongly recommend this film to everyone. I will conclude with stating that I find the first review in this section, by Mack G., so pompous and beside the point that is only good for having a hearty laugh. Mack knows difficult words! He likes to name-drop! He even knows medical syndromes! But, the thing is...he knows zilch about art, which he so abundantly proves here. Expand
  82. kevins
    Dec 30, 2004
    10
    Unf**kinbelieveable. 37 years later this masterpiece is recreated by a ubertalented group of Brian Wilson minions. Absolutely fantastic. Miss it and lose out on the best album that you'll likely hear this side of 2000. Dig it or die.
  83. ealonrrigby
    Dec 5, 2004
    10
    excellnt
  84. DavidF
    Dec 6, 2004
    10
    Absolute Classic. Smile sounds so fresh, even though it was conceived all those years ago. Anyone who has heard and enjoyed the Unsupassed masters Vol. 17 Smile Sessions 3 cd set, will be thrilled that Brian has managed to weave all the threads of Smile into a cohesive whole.
  85. MarkA
    Oct 29, 2004
    10
    Simply put ... Stunning! I've listened to it several times a day for three weeks and I still love hearing it. My opinion is that it is better than Pet Sounds, better than Sgt Pepper.
  86. m.toups
    Oct 3, 2004
    10
    Mama mia that's a spicy meatball!
  87. DavidL
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    Smiles and a few tears for what this great artist has accomplished in his lifetime and the joy in music that he has brought all of us who never quit listening.
  88. RyanK
    Oct 5, 2004
    9
    This album is a blast of 1960's psychadelia that is sure to inspire many strange trips... It's beautiful and innocent... why don't people make music like this anymore?
  89. Kris
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    best album of the year no doubt, you´ll have alot of fun if you get this one
  90. markf
    Oct 7, 2004
    9
    "Good Vibrations" was one of the first 45s I ever bought, and I still probably think that song is the best Beach Boys song, at least the old single. This album's version isn't quite as good, but the entire album, while not exactly flawless, is a beautiful flow of music with many repeating motifs from "Heroes and Villians", "Surf's Up" and "Good Vibrations" sprawled across "Good Vibrations" was one of the first 45s I ever bought, and I still probably think that song is the best Beach Boys song, at least the old single. This album's version isn't quite as good, but the entire album, while not exactly flawless, is a beautiful flow of music with many repeating motifs from "Heroes and Villians", "Surf's Up" and "Good Vibrations" sprawled across the three suites. Sometimes, the simplest parts are the best; for example, the Aaron Coplandish cello (with drums) melting into the haunting voice singing "You Are My Sunshine" brings shivers, and then the sax dissolves into a whirling string section (actually reminds me of the Beatles circa '67.) The opening "Prayer" is more beautiful than anything on Bjork's most-recent, although I think it's a good companion piece to her "Vokuro." Overall, this is a tremendous, awe-inspiring piece of art, which also enjoys being funny and silly. But I am sad that the Beach Boys aren't actually a part of it. (Carl and Dennis R.I.P.) Expand
  91. ebokw
    Sep 28, 2004
    10
    if this came out in when planned it would be considered one of the 10 best albums ever made.
  92. ThomasZ
    Sep 29, 2004
    10
    Finally!
  93. PaulL
    Sep 29, 2004
    10
    The music is a product of the glorious '60s and is true to it's era. At that time nothing like it had ever been written. That said, many artists have been swiping ideas from this music ever since. Still I was totally unprepared for how fresh and majestic it all sounds. God bless Brian Wilson for having the courage to finish this, and God bless the Wondermints for having the The music is a product of the glorious '60s and is true to it's era. At that time nothing like it had ever been written. That said, many artists have been swiping ideas from this music ever since. Still I was totally unprepared for how fresh and majestic it all sounds. God bless Brian Wilson for having the courage to finish this, and God bless the Wondermints for having the talent to make it happen in such a glorious fashion! Expand
  94. kevinf
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    Shocking Creative Accomplishment! Brian and Van-Dyke's electric ambition from back in the day is back to blow you away! Pure bliss from THE Genius!
  95. TabP
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    I am still stunned. It is so much better than I expected. Absolute perfection.
  96. JohnnyW
    Jan 13, 2005
    10
    Its a great album. Although its different then the other BB albums, its got great lyrics and beautiful instrumentation. I love to sing along to the songs such as Cabinessence and Heroes and Villians, and singing makes me, well, SMILE!
  97. GeorgeD
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    Sensational from start to finish.
  98. MikeO
    Nov 6, 2005
    6
    Surf's Up and Good Vibrations are superb, but we already knew that. The versions on Smile are inferior to the Beach Boys. Heroes & Villains is good, the rest is average to weak. What was all the fuss about? This is really the most over-hyped album of all time, yet it is still rates a 6/10 due to the 3 tracks mentioned above.
  99. JohnG
    Nov 7, 2005
    9
    As close to perfection as is humanly possible.
  100. Thiscdisgreat
    Oct 21, 2005
    10
    Have another listen folks, although this music is not for everyone, there is no denying the genius in the writing ,arranging and producing. We are lucky to have this at all.
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. Los Angeles Times
    100
    "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]