• 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. Oct 22, 2014
    10
    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 popThe 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
  2. Sep 17, 2014
    7
    Smile is bitter sweet because it promises to deliver the album we waited so long to hear, but unfortunately it doesn't quite provide us with that fulfillment.

    Don't get me wrong, Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a great album, but it isn't SMiLE by The Beach Boys. The music is all there, the songs are great, the instrumentation is brilliant, but when you listen to it (which I have several
    Smile is bitter sweet because it promises to deliver the album we waited so long to hear, but unfortunately it doesn't quite provide us with that fulfillment.

    Don't get me wrong, Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a great album, but it isn't SMiLE by The Beach Boys. The music is all there, the songs are great, the instrumentation is brilliant, but when you listen to it (which I have several times) you cannot help but wish you were hearing the real thing. It is of course blatantly obvious that the lifestyle of Wilson's during the seventies and eighties affected his voice considerably, and it is evident even more so in his old age. The vocals are just not good enough to do his original vision justice, which in many ways is sad. This is by no means a detriment to Brian, who of course cannot control the quality of his voice, but it does impact upon the experience when that falsetto is missing or the control is off. Hearing what the originals sounded like, these new versions just cannot compare.

    While listening to the album it just seems like Brian is confronting his demons, but that he is now too old and too burnt out to fulfill his vision as he wanted to when he was in his twenties. The magic which he brought to the original album had dissappeared in March 1967, and it now sounds like he is forcibly revisiting material purely for the purpose of finishing it, and not because he is in that inspired moment like he was back in 1967.

    Furthermore, although you can't really fault the band or the supporting singers, they aren't the beach boys, and thus the album suffers from losing that beautiful, harmonic "blend." As Brian said in an interview for the album, when he originally wrote SMiLE he could compose all the music, but at the end of the day he needed the guy's voices to complete it. They are sorely missed on BWPS.

    All in all this is a strong album, and the music is fantastic as previously said. If this album had been released by the Beach Boys in 1967 it could have changed the world of music - but in 2004 it just seems to reignite the sadness of all music fans that it was cruely locked away for 37 years. If you want to hear the definitive version of SMiLE, check 2012's The Smile Sessions disc one.
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  3. Apr 9, 2012
    10
    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.
  4. Feb 24, 2012
    10
    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.
  5. Nov 10, 2011
    8
    This has to be admired for what it is and the time it came from. Pretty revolutionary stuff it has to be said, at the same time, I'm not so sure it's all as good as the critics make out. There are some enjoyable moments but it can be hard work and some parts of this record are just plain bizarre. It reminds me of Sgt Pepper and parts of The White Album, and those types of records was whatThis has to be admired for what it is and the time it came from. Pretty revolutionary stuff it has to be said, at the same time, I'm not so sure it's all as good as the critics make out. There are some enjoyable moments but it can be hard work and some parts of this record are just plain bizarre. It reminds me of Sgt Pepper and parts of The White Album, and those types of records was what Wilson was trying to emulate when it was originally written, but the Fab 4 had classic tracks in with the experimentation. There are very few in comparison found here. It's music history though and really has to be given a lot of time and attention to be appreciated. Expand
  6. 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
  7. Sep 29, 2011
    9
    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 firstThis 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 well...in 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
  8. Mar 21, 2011
    10
    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.
  9. Jan 24, 2011
    10
    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 itIt'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
  10. FeidoV
    Apr 12, 2010
    9
    A great album.
  11. BrianE
    Mar 26, 2010
    10
    Perfection in Sound
  12. AnthonyL
    Mar 26, 2010
    10
    Best album ever.
  13. 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.
  14. KamilK
    Feb 23, 2010
    10
    "SMiLE" is the best album of 00`s & One of the greatest off all time. Definitely.
  15. 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.
  16. LuisI
    Feb 10, 2010
    10
    Pop orchestra, brilliant sound, brian wilson and a legendary record.
  17. ChrisL
    Feb 9, 2010
    10
    Pristine.
  18. JohnY
    Jan 19, 2010
    7
    I dunno this album is pretty hard to rate for me. I think the people who are giving this a 1 or 0 are totally insane. On the other hand I think it's totally insane that this is the highest rated album of all time here. First I guess I have to say that I am not a huge Beach Boys fan, so that could have affected my enjoyment of the album. Sometimes I enjoy them a lot, other times I I dunno this album is pretty hard to rate for me. I think the people who are giving this a 1 or 0 are totally insane. On the other hand I think it's totally insane that this is the highest rated album of all time here. First I guess I have to say that I am not a huge Beach Boys fan, so that could have affected my enjoyment of the album. Sometimes I enjoy them a lot, other times I find them annoying or boring. Same can be said about the songs in this album. There are some REALLY good moments in here, but just when I thought a song was kick it up another notch on the catchy pop, the song changed pace and didn't do anything for me at all. The whole thing just seemed so uneven. Expand
  19. GlynnM.
    Jan 18, 2010
    10
    Reignited my faith in music and rediscovery of the Beach Boys.
  20. Dri
    Jan 15, 2010
    10
    Classic album of a genius.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. BillW
    Dec 31, 2009
    10
    I think it's the album of the decade. I love it more as the years roll on. I listen to it more now than ever. When I hear people dis it I get confused, how can this music not move you? THis is not even "my kind of music" yet when it's on I am in a semi-meditative state and it's one of the few peices of music that can stop my in my tracks.
  24. ConradC.
    Dec 16, 2009
    10
    Worth every minute of the wait!
  25. SebastianW
    Dec 15, 2009
    6
    I may just not understand its context, I may just not be enough of a Beach Boys fan, but considering this album takes the throne on metacritic, I find it's simply too counter-modern and envisions its listeners too narrowly.
  26. MIkeY
    Nov 20, 2009
    2
    I give it a 2 because there are only two real songs on the album. The two are excellent (Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains). The rest does not make any sense.
  27. MikeA.
    Nov 20, 2009
    10
    A true masterpiece of sound and emotion. It was well worth the wait!
  28. ruggeroruggero
    Nov 16, 2009
    10
    A trip in the inner life of a person and, in the end, the discovery, with GOOD VIBRATIONS, that the most important thing in the life of a person is LOVE. Sgt. Pepper can't compete with SMILE, this one is better than the first one for the musical compositions, the songs, the meanings that it develops and presents. The Beatles were lucky because they didn't search for the A trip in the inner life of a person and, in the end, the discovery, with GOOD VIBRATIONS, that the most important thing in the life of a person is LOVE. Sgt. Pepper can't compete with SMILE, this one is better than the first one for the musical compositions, the songs, the meanings that it develops and presents. The Beatles were lucky because they didn't search for the complexity like Brian in the production of SMILE but Brian wnated the perfection and his label and his bandmates didn't understand. It's a true progressive album. Expand
  29. JamesH.
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    This is probably my favorite album to turn to at any time. I just love the songs and how they roll from one to the next. I can just hit play on the iPod and have an hour of total indulgence.
  30. ConnorM
    Nov 4, 2009
    0
    Looking at the comments I think either nostalgia has taken this website by storm, or a company was hired to vote positively, comment positively, etc. this album on websites.
  31. JohnE.
    Nov 1, 2009
    0
    The most outdated sounding, overly cheesy, over the top, non subtle, non interesting, unappealing, uninspiring,wall of noise I have ever heard. I agree with Aaron S. the album will ultimately be forgotten along with the fake corporate hype. Who could possibly like this other than the easily brain washed? I listen to music pretty much all day long everyday, and I listen to every genera, The most outdated sounding, overly cheesy, over the top, non subtle, non interesting, unappealing, uninspiring,wall of noise I have ever heard. I agree with Aaron S. the album will ultimately be forgotten along with the fake corporate hype. Who could possibly like this other than the easily brain washed? I listen to music pretty much all day long everyday, and I listen to every genera, and i must say this is crap. I make better sounds come out of my ass after I eat huevos rancheros and give myself a coffee enema. Expand
  32. TiagoA.
    Sep 18, 2009
    10
    A great album, this have soul and it's brilliant.
  33. AdamS
    Sep 8, 2009
    7
    Sounds like a good album, but 97! I think this score may have been boosted by critics nostalgia trips.
  34. ShivaM.
    Aug 25, 2009
    10
    Well worth the wait. It is definitely one of the best albums of the decade. Anyone not affected by this piece of art is probably just a 20 year old idiot with no taste at all.
  35. DavidH.
    Jul 27, 2009
    10
    A perfect composition.
  36. JoeS.
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    'Tis very good, yeah!
  37. 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!
  38. JohnC
    May 17, 2009
    0
    Now I understand why it has taken more than 30 years for it to be released. Because Brian knew it would go into the dustbin! I can't even believe some are comparing this to "Pet Sounds". And hey, folks, I'm 20 but that doesn't mean young people have no taste or worse, like I could read, that if we don't like it it's simply because we know nothing about music or Now I understand why it has taken more than 30 years for it to be released. Because Brian knew it would go into the dustbin! I can't even believe some are comparing this to "Pet Sounds". And hey, folks, I'm 20 but that doesn't mean young people have no taste or worse, like I could read, that if we don't like it it's simply because we know nothing about music or because we didn't receive a musical education. This album is made of random noises (and goddamn, I mean it, really!) put in various songs with an unlistenable voice. But Brian is the more intelligent between us: he knew that critics (who are absolute 60's music lovers) would love it simply because the music had an impact on them, an impact in people who wanted to change the world, because they wanted to change the History (and I would love to live those times too because of it). And guess what?! He was totally right! He succeeded!... But critics totally forgot what music is, and this is not music, only nostalgic noise for those who want to go back in time. Maybe Brian lost his mind, but here I see that the followers simply lost their objectivity. Expand
  39. ToddS
    May 9, 2009
    10
    Absolute perfection!
  40. KimM
    May 2, 2009
    9
    Simply superb.
  41. DenisL
    Mar 17, 2009
    1
    Absolutely useless.
  42. 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.
  43. ChrisS
    Jan 12, 2009
    10
    It's tough to figure out which i'm rating here, this album, or the music. Cause i have a bootleg that follows exactly what this release did with pretty much the same arrangements. and not surprisingly, i like that one better. His voice is amazing, and there's something about those old recordings that sound brilliant. The music is obviously great now, but i'm so happy It's tough to figure out which i'm rating here, this album, or the music. Cause i have a bootleg that follows exactly what this release did with pretty much the same arrangements. and not surprisingly, i like that one better. His voice is amazing, and there's something about those old recordings that sound brilliant. The music is obviously great now, but i'm so happy this got a release. i'm sure Brian feels so much better, he deserves all the accolades he gets. it isn't Pet Sounds (nothing is in my opinion). but SMiLE is a beautiful. and a triumph. Expand
  44. peter
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    Beautiful and haunting. I cant imagine how anyone could walk away from this unchanged.
  45. PlatoS
    Dec 23, 2008
    8
    Well I guess I understand how critics feel - that this is one of the best pop albums of all time. Thats exactly how I feel, but all I can say is that pop isn't exactly the best music of all time, so I don't think that Smile gets a 97%. But for those Beach Boys fans, I am quite confident to say that this is another Pet Sounds, or perhaps even better, since its a concept album, Well I guess I understand how critics feel - that this is one of the best pop albums of all time. Thats exactly how I feel, but all I can say is that pop isn't exactly the best music of all time, so I don't think that Smile gets a 97%. But for those Beach Boys fans, I am quite confident to say that this is another Pet Sounds, or perhaps even better, since its a concept album, which makes it even stronger as a whole (the songs are also very good, such as Wonderful, Surf's Up, Good Vibration, etc.) Expand
  46. 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
  47. CarlP
    Nov 7, 2008
    10
    In 2004 when his 60's peers had long been spent forces creatively, Brian Wilson gave us SMiLE. If anyone tells you they have ever heard a record quite like this before they are lying because there isn't one. The most simple but remarkable achievement of SMiLE is that is it perhaps the first complete rock/pop "album'. It is not a collection of 3 minute songs recorded In 2004 when his 60's peers had long been spent forces creatively, Brian Wilson gave us SMiLE. If anyone tells you they have ever heard a record quite like this before they are lying because there isn't one. The most simple but remarkable achievement of SMiLE is that is it perhaps the first complete rock/pop "album'. It is not a collection of 3 minute songs recorded together where the sum of the parts is exactly the same as the whole. It is one song composed of many sounds and themes of simple but awe-inspiring scale. Melodies and orchestration that Burt Bacharach or Mozart could only dream of combine with the harmonies invented by Brian Wilson and which for nearly half a century have made his songs the most distinctive and inimitable in contemporary music. Not many artists do Beach Boys covers, because, quite simply, the techical skill and God-given voices required make them unmatchable and mean most mortals could only offer a pale parody of the real thing. But if another artist could never get near improving on "I Get Around" or "Fun,Fun, Fun" then SMilLE makes us all feel even more imperfect in comparison. To offer up Sgt Pepper or any of Brian's rivals best lp's to compare is pointless because they are not complete albums but collections of songs. Great though some of these may be, the likes of "When I'm 64" or "With a Little Help from my Friends" are songs that are not improved or given added significance by being juxtaposed on a long-playing record. "Surf's Up", however is truly magifnicent in its context and and "Heroes and Villains" is not the peak, but just the start of a musical journey we will all feel richer for taking, even if we do want to cry at the end SMiLE. The " man too tough to cry" or, for that matter, laugh, at and with this record really is "beyond belief". Some people might even claim that "Lovely RIta" and the songs recorded with it by The Beatles are better than SMiLE. But surely not with a straight face!! Expand
  48. RoyceL
    Nov 2, 2008
    0
    This album does absolutely nothing for me.
  49. YaronS.
    Oct 6, 2008
    10
    Released in 2004 or 1967 doesnt matter...its simply a great ride through an inavative and genious masterpiece of music. I did'nt know the whole story behind Smile...I just approched it as a regular cd I wanted to listen to. I have to admit that it took me a few listens to really grasp it, because the melodic rythems are very complex and unique - this cd is not for all ears, but I Released in 2004 or 1967 doesnt matter...its simply a great ride through an inavative and genious masterpiece of music. I did'nt know the whole story behind Smile...I just approched it as a regular cd I wanted to listen to. I have to admit that it took me a few listens to really grasp it, because the melodic rythems are very complex and unique - this cd is not for all ears, but I found it very moving!!! Expand
  50. 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
  51. PhilipD.
    Sep 22, 2008
    10
    I wish these people would stop giving this such low ratings in order to 'lower the average'. I mean, sure, if they think it's worth 6 then fine... but when they say '0' just to 'even things out' ...no. That's simply trying to make as much of a mark as possible on the score, it isn't helping to make a fair judgement. Why should one person's I wish these people would stop giving this such low ratings in order to 'lower the average'. I mean, sure, if they think it's worth 6 then fine... but when they say '0' just to 'even things out' ...no. That's simply trying to make as much of a mark as possible on the score, it isn't helping to make a fair judgement. Why should one person's 0 influence the score more than 5 peoples 10's if the score is averaging at about 9.7 ? Not fair. Expand
  52. JonathanW.
    Sep 19, 2008
    10
    No originality? Maybe I'll post more later, but for now I'll just listen to "Surf's Up" one more time, i.e. my favorite song.
  53. 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
  54. nickc.
    Aug 25, 2008
    0
    it gets a zero because i felt duped by these experts. 97%?! how... did you listen to a version where brian wilson sounds good? i wanted to like this because this site has introduced me many a new group or singer. i KNOW who brian wilson is... and i was very disappointed after several listening sessions. i tried to like it... i think i even pretended to like it... then i just gave up. this it gets a zero because i felt duped by these experts. 97%?! how... did you listen to a version where brian wilson sounds good? i wanted to like this because this site has introduced me many a new group or singer. i KNOW who brian wilson is... and i was very disappointed after several listening sessions. i tried to like it... i think i even pretended to like it... then i just gave up. this doesn't deserve the critical praise its getting and is no where near Pet Sounds or even those trying to emulate the feel. Expand
  55. 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!
  56. 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.
  57. 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
  58. JonathanF.
    Jun 18, 2008
    10
    Such a beautiful wondrous album so different to pet sounds yet strangely familiar and instant classic in 2004 although i fear it may be released for many year people giving it 0 out of ten im sure would not have if this was released in 1967 and i wish it was as i think pop music today would be a little (if not alot) different.
  59. AndyD.
    Jun 8, 2008
    10
    Truly stunning music. Love it!
  60. MikeL.
    May 31, 2008
    10
    Godhead!
  61. TimothyM.
    May 28, 2008
    10
    The best American album ever.
  62. FredM
    May 21, 2008
    4
    I'm a massive fan of the Beach Boys, especially Pet Sounds, and for me they're second only to the Beatles in the revolutionary pop genius stakes, so before Smile came out I obviously waited expectantly to see if it measured up. It doesn't, the people who say it's a 'triumph' and other such words are writing about the album they wanted to hear. The album you I'm a massive fan of the Beach Boys, especially Pet Sounds, and for me they're second only to the Beatles in the revolutionary pop genius stakes, so before Smile came out I obviously waited expectantly to see if it measured up. It doesn't, the people who say it's a 'triumph' and other such words are writing about the album they wanted to hear. The album you do hear is very, very disappointing, I feel like the only sane person in a mad world writing that on here, but that's how I judge this album. Expand
  63. GavinF
    May 21, 2008
    2
    I downloaded this purely because of the high ranking it received on this site and I have to say I though it was dreadful. It's all bee-boop-a-doo-daa non sense. Good Vibrations being the only exception.
  64. 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.
  65. ThomH.
    Apr 26, 2008
    10
    This is the single most important work of musical art that has ever been produced. Thank you Brian Wilson.
  66. MarkS.
    Apr 26, 2008
    4
    I've always found Wilson annoying, sorry. Probably the most overrated album in history
  67. 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.
  68. Terry
    Apr 8, 2008
    10
    A masterpiece. Good for you, Brian.
  69. KenS.
    Mar 1, 2008
    1
    Were it not for "Good Vibrations", I would have given it a ZERO. What a disappointment. Pitiful.
  70. dh
    Feb 20, 2008
    10
    Perfect. Only comparable to the Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  71. AlexT
    Feb 12, 2008
    10
    Quite simply one of the greatest albums I have ever heard. It evokes a feeling of happiness and makes you appreciate the musical genius that is Brian Wilson. The arrangements, harmonies, melodies - everything about this album is perfect. While I can understand why some may find this album to be "childish", it is important to understand that it is not only intentional, but characteristic Quite simply one of the greatest albums I have ever heard. It evokes a feeling of happiness and makes you appreciate the musical genius that is Brian Wilson. The arrangements, harmonies, melodies - everything about this album is perfect. While I can understand why some may find this album to be "childish", it is important to understand that it is not only intentional, but characteristic of this particular genre. Created in a different fashion it would lose much of it's effect. A bonafide pop triumph! Expand
  72. 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.
  73. CG
    Jan 23, 2008
    0
    Completely overrated, unless it is placed in the children's section. By the way, I still think "Pet Sounds" is as charming as ever. I would normally give this a 4 or so, but it seems my duty to help average out all of the Wilson worship. The only musical "genuis" more overrated is Frank Black and that whole Pixies mess.
  74. JustinB
    Dec 29, 2007
    10
    Wondrous!
  75. MaxM.
    Dec 3, 2007
    0
    Who?
  76. AbrahamR.
    Nov 8, 2007
    9
    It's really a hard to listen album, although it is not so good compared with some albums from the 60's, it's still very good, if someone doesn't like it maybe you should listen to it more times, or maybe just listen to more music, maybe the problem is that you haven't learned how to appreciate it, I had to listen to it 14 times before understanding completely what It's really a hard to listen album, although it is not so good compared with some albums from the 60's, it's still very good, if someone doesn't like it maybe you should listen to it more times, or maybe just listen to more music, maybe the problem is that you haven't learned how to appreciate it, I had to listen to it 14 times before understanding completely what was so wonderful about this album. Expand
  77. MichaelT.
    Nov 3, 2007
    10
    This album more than lives up to its own hype. The only slight dissapointment is I don't think the vocal harmonies are as good as the original Beach Boys whould of been but I think his new group do a stella job anyway.
  78. 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.
  79. CarlesI.
    Sep 26, 2007
    0
    This is the best album of 10 years ago, please close this web.
  80. LeeC.
    Sep 23, 2007
    10
    i think, this is better than 'pet sounds'.
  81. 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.
  82. AlexanderB.
    Aug 6, 2007
    10
    For me Smile is the greatest album of all times! Period.
  83. Sophie
    Jul 31, 2007
    9
    A really wonderful album, with some very slight faults. If only we had the original with us.
  84. JoséLuisS
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    The best of the best... Brian Wilson is a true genius!!!
  85. PeterD
    Jul 21, 2007
    10
    An American classic. Like psychedelic Gershwin.
  86. 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
  87. liors
    Jul 13, 2007
    10
    it's really wonderful , buy this album if you have listened to "pet sounds" before, buy this album if you are willing to give "smile" a chance to be finished and not stay an inflated myth. do not buy this album only because it got a good rating on metacritic , music is a matter of taste not grades.
  88. DaveM
    Jul 12, 2007
    9
    BRILLIANT!!!!! It took me back twenty years, then forward the same. A true work of art. It definitely left me with "Good Vibrations".
  89. kevink
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    all of to say is pretty much what the last three people have said except the exact opposite. in the world of pop music brian wilson is god SMiLE is the bible
  90. fagr
    Jun 20, 2007
    4
    how did this shit get up here... it seems that when critics see the beatles or the rolling stones or such oldies they feel the obligation to slap a 100 on it. NOT GOOD, put me to sleep
  91. EvanW
    Jun 16, 2007
    8
    This album was truly one of the most unique listening experiences I've ever had. I'll admit to not exactly "understanding" everything I heard, but that's a good thing. Although I can recognize that a lot of critics writing up this album may be writing a lot out of nostalgia, the musical merits hold true. I think a lot of what people are missing in this album is its This album was truly one of the most unique listening experiences I've ever had. I'll admit to not exactly "understanding" everything I heard, but that's a good thing. Although I can recognize that a lot of critics writing up this album may be writing a lot out of nostalgia, the musical merits hold true. I think a lot of what people are missing in this album is its intention. It's supposed to be silly! The title is "Smile" for a reason. Perhaps some are a bit too jaded to appreciate this. Expand
  92. 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
  93. EliE
    May 29, 2007
    10
    Any flaws you could point out in Brian's vocals compared to the original tapes are drastically outweighed by the faithful attempt at reconstructing this greatest of lost pop albums.
  94. chirs
    May 25, 2007
    10
    are you people insane? this album is amazing. it's wonderfully weird and genius.
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. 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
  98. BenC
    Apr 28, 2007
    3
    The original is incredible, this is mediocre at best. It has so many stops and starts in the middle of songs that it gets annoying. Tedious is the one word i would use to describe this new album
  99. JPublius
    Apr 15, 2007
    2
    Horrid. The updated lounge band production of this album is so far from the mid-60s Beach Boys magic as to be unrecognizable. The great myth of "Smile" is that it was somehow unfinished, as if Wilson were on the cusp of writing great new material that would link everything together when pressure from his bandmates and label forced him to stop working on the record. This is ridiculous: Horrid. The updated lounge band production of this album is so far from the mid-60s Beach Boys magic as to be unrecognizable. The great myth of "Smile" is that it was somehow unfinished, as if Wilson were on the cusp of writing great new material that would link everything together when pressure from his bandmates and label forced him to stop working on the record. This is ridiculous: Smile was as finished as it was ever going to be, mostly due to its principal songwriter/producer having reduced himself to drug-addled mush. The Smile sessions were a story of diminishing returns, capped by endless studio tweakery at the end to produce the recording Wilson himself had promised Capitol by Jan 1967. The music was there--as numerous bootlegs and "rough mixes" conclusively prove. It wasn't the best pop album in history, and it was never going to be. But it was certainly far superior in every aspect to the mess the group released in its place, the career-killing disaster known as "Smiley Smile." It was also far superior to this slicked-up recording, with its mind-bogglingly awful version of Good Vibrations featuring lyrics not by Mike Love, which,given almost endless lawsuits that have marred the group's existence since the 60s, is probably the real reason why the original Smile never saw the light of day then, nor in the 80s, nor now. Sorry, Brian-worshippers. I just cannot get into a shallow re-recording of a famous lost album by a composer/singer long past his prime backed by studio musicians who just don't get it. The real Smile exists out there--it always has. You just have to look for it... Expand
  100. SanderV
    Mar 17, 2007
    10
    Altough the original tapes sound warmer, the real winning point for this version is its cohesiveness. I never thought it could be pulled of, but it works and it's brilliant. It's a trip, from beginning to end.
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]