SMiLE

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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 468 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 77 out of 468

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  1. DavidP
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    As an old Beach Boys fan who grew up in the 60's, SMiLE provides an unexpected closure to a part of my psyche. It's like John was not shot, George is still alive, and the Beatles got back together in the 80's and put out another masterpiece. Of course, that fantasy will always leave a hole in my heart but, now, at least, one of the holes in my heart has been filled with joy As an old Beach Boys fan who grew up in the 60's, SMiLE provides an unexpected closure to a part of my psyche. It's like John was not shot, George is still alive, and the Beatles got back together in the 80's and put out another masterpiece. Of course, that fantasy will always leave a hole in my heart but, now, at least, one of the holes in my heart has been filled with joy and a SMiLE. Thank you Brian. Expand
  2. williamf
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    never was that much of a brain wilson fan, but wow!!!!! this is a classic
  3. JimD
    Oct 8, 2004
    10
    An amazing aural experience. Totally unlike anything else by the Beach Boys in many ways, but the harmonies take you back.
  4. JE
    Oct 9, 2004
    10
    i love it. it's a great album. i think everyone who is digging it is suffering from a little bit of nostalgia, but that's only natural..
  5. JohnS
    Jan 10, 2005
    10
    As a big Beatle fan, I've always been a bit protectionist as far as this album being "better" than Pepper is concerned. I'd heard the released stuff and some of it was indeed impressive. Heroes & Villians, Good Vibrations, Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Wonderful and Surf's Up in particular truly awesome. Now nearly 40 years later and with all these tracks finally slotted As a big Beatle fan, I've always been a bit protectionist as far as this album being "better" than Pepper is concerned. I'd heard the released stuff and some of it was indeed impressive. Heroes & Villians, Good Vibrations, Our Prayer, Cabinessence, Wonderful and Surf's Up in particular truly awesome. Now nearly 40 years later and with all these tracks finally slotted together for the first time on the one album, I'm bound to say its quite simply, sensational. Breathtalingly beautiful in parts. Much as though I hate to admit it, back in 1967 this would probably have dwarfed Pepper. As a piece of art it's infinately more progressive. As piece of music it's certainly better. Maybe not the catchy tunes sure, but this is another level altogether. With pop/rock music having advanced SO much since 1967, its really difficult to appreciate how innovative this would have been back then. The fact that it still stands up in 2004 says everything that needs to be said. Back then it would have blown everyone away although quite possibly wouldn't have sold well- leastways in the States. And you could see why the rest of the Beach Boys were a bit scared of it, deviating as far as it did from their previous winning formula. But with so much music having been released since this was written, its incredible to think that I really could say its still probably the best rock/pop album I've ever heard. I would have loved to have heard the Beach Boy voices on it , even though the vocals here are stunning. As a family they had such a unique blend when they all sang together, which is not replicated here, nor sadly ever will be now. . Expand
  6. Dale
    Jun 6, 2005
    4
    If you are a fan of BW or the Beach Boys, Smile may (or not) tickle your fancy, but if you are just a casual fan taken in by the critical acclaim it has received from this site (like yours truly), DO NOT PURCHASE THIS ALBUM before listening to it first. It is overrated by any standard and most may find the dated sound and (lack of) song structure rather unpalatable.
  7. JoeG
    Mar 9, 2006
    5
    I wanted to love this, I really did. It's from a genius isn't it, one of the great lost treasures of 60's pop! A few of the sequences (Heroes and Villians) are excellent, but I struggled to warm to much else, some of which is positively flaky. I've just sold it on Ebay, and hope the buyer enjoys it more than I did.
  8. markh
    Jun 8, 2006
    5
    greatest album ever. hahahahahahahahahahha yeah right, refund please.
  9. GiovanniO
    Aug 17, 2006
    2
    Why are most reviewers giving this album a 10? When you rate an album do you consider overall enjoyability for adults that did not grow up in the 60's? As an open minded individual I can appreciate any music regardless of age or type, but as a reviewer I could not give a 10 to an album based on its history or lenght of creation. Rome was not built in a day but it fell in one...
  10. 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.
  11. AlexanderB.
    Aug 6, 2007
    10
    For me Smile is the greatest album of all times! Period.
  12. 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.
  13. VinceH.
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    I have to agree with ebok on this one. I (like most BB fanatics) have compiled all the old songs, bits, lost tracks, samples, etc. and compiled my own version of Smile in various forms over the years). I really miss Brian's old voice and the singing of the boys in their prime, but this new groups is excellent and Brian still sings wonderfully. The main thing about this new album that I have to agree with ebok on this one. I (like most BB fanatics) have compiled all the old songs, bits, lost tracks, samples, etc. and compiled my own version of Smile in various forms over the years). I really miss Brian's old voice and the singing of the boys in their prime, but this new groups is excellent and Brian still sings wonderfully. The main thing about this new album that will (and should) get all the attention is the production and arrangement. This is hands down the best production of all time, and yes I have heard pretty much every rock/pop album considered a "classic". Brian Wilson is truly the greatest musical mind to emerge from pop music. You know when people call their fav artist a genius and stuff, well Wilson is actually a genius and it shows here (as it always has). This is truly one of the miracles of musical creation and had this album orginally been released after Pet Sounds it would've been considered as the greatest album ever made. Not kidding folks, it's that good. Expand
  14. JensK
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    Forget about 1967, this is a great, great, great record today!
  15. LarryJ
    Oct 6, 2004
    10
    It just keeps getting better with each time I listen to it. I especially love the middle suite of "Childhood" songs -- "Wonderful." If the original BB had been involved in this production, particularly the late-Carl Wilson, it would have rated off the chart. The album and Brian's backstory, in my opinion, serve to reinforce the overall theme of these tracks. I'm happy Brian can SMiLE.
  16. MichaelC
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    The Only thing wrong with this album is Brian's voice, if he had that classic falsetto, it would be perfection. But I'd only drop the album 0.1 of a point for that, so I'd give the album 10 out of 10. L&M
  17. WJFlywheel
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    Good stuff for the Mike Love Fanclub.
  18. hitchynonejusthitchy!
    Oct 13, 2005
    4
    To say I'm disappointed is an understatement!...we've all heard the legend of 'smile', so the anticipation of hearing this for the 1st time was high. Where to listen to it?...I never remember the first time I heard any of the great classics, so I was determined to make this 'hearing' something I'd remember forever. On a long lonely highway, late at To say I'm disappointed is an understatement!...we've all heard the legend of 'smile', so the anticipation of hearing this for the 1st time was high. Where to listen to it?...I never remember the first time I heard any of the great classics, so I was determined to make this 'hearing' something I'd remember forever. On a long lonely highway, late at night, cruise control on, by myself........turned up loud.......man i was salivating as i pushed the CD in.......the result?......oh brian, oh no, brian....please tell me this ain't smile......37 yrs in the making?......sounds to me like you just got a whole heap of lyrics & musical snatches, chucked 'em in the blender & recorded it in the order that they came out....oh Brian, no! Expand
  19. JindrichH
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    Beautiful....
  20. ArielN
    Jan 18, 2005
    10
    Smile Brian, You Did It Again.
  21. MurielB.
    Jan 20, 2005
    10
    Look ! Listen ! Vibrate ! Smile !
  22. jims
    Jan 2, 2005
    10
    Pop symphony, have never heard anything like it
  23. joej
    Jan 4, 2005
    10
    Brilliant!
  24. MartyM
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    Brilliant. Smile is finally released and I was not disappointed at all. The hype was definitely deserved.
  25. bobbyc
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    may be the most brilliant "pop" or "rock" album of all time. but those catagories don't even begin to describe its incredible synthesis of traditional american song styles, symphonic bliss & bold, successful avant-garde experimentation. it just has never been done before in this way. it even surpasses its own mythical legend. an astounding achievement, not just for a man who may be the most brilliant "pop" or "rock" album of all time. but those catagories don't even begin to describe its incredible synthesis of traditional american song styles, symphonic bliss & bold, successful avant-garde experimentation. it just has never been done before in this way. it even surpasses its own mythical legend. an astounding achievement, not just for a man who struggles daily from mental illness, but an astounding achievement from anybody at all. he didn't even have to do this. he could have just let the legend live on as the most famous unreleased album of all time & rested on those laurals alone. Expand
  26. stevep
    Apr 12, 2005
    10
    A true Classic ! ! !
  27. ErickC.
    Jun 27, 2005
    10
    I don`t know how some people gave ratings below 9, A "5".....come on, this is a great album, even after 37 years you can listen magic in this music, the kind of album that you want to listen from start to finish( I have, 10 times at least ^_^ ) and nowadays that is something really hard to find, the only people who don`t like this cd is because they like predictible and easy listen music, I don`t know how some people gave ratings below 9, A "5".....come on, this is a great album, even after 37 years you can listen magic in this music, the kind of album that you want to listen from start to finish( I have, 10 times at least ^_^ ) and nowadays that is something really hard to find, the only people who don`t like this cd is because they like predictible and easy listen music, this album surprises you in practically every song, definitely is something really especial and innovative even 37 years later from the original release date. Pet Sounds may be more estructure and "famous" but SMiLE Challenges you, is for a intelligent audience who appreciate original music with great & unexpected twists in the songs. DEFINITELY A WORTHY ALBUM!! HAT`S OFF TO BRIAN WILSON! Expand
  28. DaveN
    Aug 5, 2005
    3
    Who would have thought that the band Brian really wanted to play in was the Moody Blues?
  29. DriR
    Sep 7, 2005
    10
    Wonderful! Brilliant!
  30. AndrewF
    Oct 3, 2006
    10
    One of the top 5 albums of all time. His voice is a little different, but certainly not bad, and the backing band is better musically than the beach boys. The only thing it is missing, is Carl, Mikes, Brian (in his 20s) voices. Only albums ahead of it are Pet Sounds, Revolver, Highway 61, and Sgt. Peppers.
  31. RaleighR
    Jun 28, 2006
    9
    Brian Wilson is elevated to new highs with SMiLE. Though one can only dream what this time traveled masterpiece could have inspired if originally released as a response to Sgt. Pepper. In the 60's the hype that surrounded the album was that it was to be 'a teenage symphony to God'. In 2004 does it still hold up to what teenager feel today? All n all great album, good for Brian Wilson is elevated to new highs with SMiLE. Though one can only dream what this time traveled masterpiece could have inspired if originally released as a response to Sgt. Pepper. In the 60's the hype that surrounded the album was that it was to be 'a teenage symphony to God'. In 2004 does it still hold up to what teenager feel today? All n all great album, good for Brian to get it accomplished. Expand
  32. Ben
    Sep 17, 2006
    8
    It would have been a disapintment if released earlier... simply not comparable with pet sounds or any beatles records
  33. Rog
    Feb 12, 2007
    10
    Outstanding music - for any era.
  34. DarylS
    Mar 10, 2007
    9
    Ok I'm 15 and (I'll admit it) very impressionable, I get this album based on metacritic's 97 average with very little previous beach boys experience and absolutely no idea what to expect. I've had only 3 listens so far and it's still growing on me - I'm still not sure what if the rave reviews are all genuine or if many are due to the hype and mythology Ok I'm 15 and (I'll admit it) very impressionable, I get this album based on metacritic's 97 average with very little previous beach boys experience and absolutely no idea what to expect. I've had only 3 listens so far and it's still growing on me - I'm still not sure what if the rave reviews are all genuine or if many are due to the hype and mythology surrounding it but all I can say is like it. I like it a lot. Maybe I don't appreciate it the same way as many other people do and i can't quite understand this being the "greatest album ever" but it is a very good listen and i hope more and more listens will reveal just how good it is to a poor boy whos been forced to grow up with Justin Timberlake and 50 Cent like myself. Expand
  35. 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.
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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.
  39. Terry
    Apr 8, 2008
    10
    A masterpiece. Good for you, Brian.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. LuisI
    Feb 10, 2010
    10
    Pop orchestra, brilliant sound, brian wilson and a legendary record.
  43. 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.
  44. ChrisL
    Feb 9, 2010
    10
    Pristine.
  45. FeidoV
    Apr 12, 2010
    9
    A great album.
  46. Maryc
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    I never heard anything like this before.
  47. engelbertcockswallower
    Oct 10, 2004
    0
    gee this suxx!! get sum papa roach doodes!!
  48. JackB
    Oct 1, 2004
    9
    Have to agree that it's brilliant. But we already knew that. My only complaint is that I miss Brian's old vocals. The other boys in the band I can take or leave. But Brian sounds like an old man now. Love this "Heroes" better than any other mix we've heard before. "Surf's Up" loses a step without Brian's original lead. Like the lyrics of the '66 "Good Have to agree that it's brilliant. But we already knew that. My only complaint is that I miss Brian's old vocals. The other boys in the band I can take or leave. But Brian sounds like an old man now. Love this "Heroes" better than any other mix we've heard before. "Surf's Up" loses a step without Brian's original lead. Like the lyrics of the '66 "Good Vibrations" better. Expand
  49. Stevie
    Oct 1, 2004
    10
    Surf's Up is the greatest pop song ever created, and is essential listening for any human even slightly considering had this album originally been released when intended, it would've topped Sgt. Pepper's. Get this album immediately!! Even George Martin said that Brian Wilson was the biggest influence on the Beatles post-Rubber Soul and that Pet Sounds was the type of album Surf's Up is the greatest pop song ever created, and is essential listening for any human even slightly considering had this album originally been released when intended, it would've topped Sgt. Pepper's. Get this album immediately!! Even George Martin said that Brian Wilson was the biggest influence on the Beatles post-Rubber Soul and that Pet Sounds was the type of album the Beatles were trying to make. That's praise as high as it goes folks. Expand
  50. GaryE
    Oct 14, 2004
    10
    Now we can see how expendable the rest of the Beach Boys really were. Brian was obviously the brains of the outfit.
  51. AaronS.
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    Better late than never. This beautiful musical curiosity sounds like nothing else, totally unclassifiable. It sounds as out of place today as it would have back in 1967! Highly recommended to those with adventurous tastes.
  52. StillaKidAtheart
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    Simply a Masterpiece! I first heard Sgt. Pepper's at the age of 14, and I have the same kind of feeling listening to Smile today...I can't stop listening to it...Thank you, Brian...You reached me.
  53. MattM
    Nov 7, 2004
    3
    Pretty freakin' boring. The only really good songs are the ones we've heard before: "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villains."
  54. brianwilson
    Oct 2, 2004
    1
    It sucks, overrated piece of trash.
  55. TazmanianDevil
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    Can't stop listening... enjoy every moment of this CD
  56. alc
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    love this album the most!!
  57. 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
  58. 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
  59. 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-
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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!!!
  64. 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!
  65. 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!
  66. 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++++
  67. 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.
  68. dickj
    Oct 5, 2004
    0
    Ambitious, banal, silly, over-produced, schlocky, depressing, sappy, 37 years too late and egotistic
  69. 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.
  70. paula
    Oct 7, 2004
    10
    the best 45 minutes of popular music i've ever heard.
  71. BigStuart
    Oct 9, 2004
    0
    It has *sheep sounds* in it! god sake! and his voice is incredibly annoying! this sucks so very very bad.
  72. Shane
    Sep 28, 2004
    10
    So brilliant. So absolutely brilliant. My wait has only been 3 years, but during that 3 years I've dedicated so much time to researching this album and finding bootleg songs online. Brian took on an almost impossible task at finishing this and satisfying the legend, and I was afraid of him striking out after hearing his last solo album which was far from the brilliance we've So brilliant. So absolutely brilliant. My wait has only been 3 years, but during that 3 years I've dedicated so much time to researching this album and finding bootleg songs online. Brian took on an almost impossible task at finishing this and satisfying the legend, and I was afraid of him striking out after hearing his last solo album which was far from the brilliance we've come to know from him. He's done anything but, though. Bases loaded, bottom of the 9th, down by 3. Truly a walk off grand slam from Brian Wilson. Expand
  73. MikeA
    Sep 28, 2004
    10
    A Masterpiece
  74. 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.
  75. 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!!!!!
  76. RayG
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    The production on this 2004 recording is right where it should be...somewhere between then and now...leaning towards then...I actually prefer ALOT of it to the older stuff, and I honestly NEVER thought that would be the case The casing is absolutely beautiful and the last page of the booklet damn near brought a tear to my eye. God bless you Brian Wilson for blessing me with this, the The production on this 2004 recording is right where it should be...somewhere between then and now...leaning towards then...I actually prefer ALOT of it to the older stuff, and I honestly NEVER thought that would be the case The casing is absolutely beautiful and the last page of the booklet damn near brought a tear to my eye. God bless you Brian Wilson for blessing me with this, the greatest album I have ever heard. Expand
  77. 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
  78. df
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    STUNNING
  79. MattW
    Sep 30, 2004
    10
    This is one of the best records I've ever heard. Seriously.
  80. 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!
  81. 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.
  82. PeterB
    Jan 19, 2005
    10
    Astounding!
  83. Suzan
    Dec 16, 2005
    10
    Melodic, masterly crafted, way ahead of its time for the late 60's, simply smile-worthy!!
  84. DustinB
    Oct 26, 2005
    2
    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I can only imagine that fans of Wilson's past work must remain enamored, because the songs Heroes and Villians, Wind Chimes, and of course, Good Vibrations, save this album from being entire awful. Listen to songs Barnyard and Vega-tables to realize that Brian Wilson has nothing interesting left to sing about. Actually, don't listen to I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I can only imagine that fans of Wilson's past work must remain enamored, because the songs Heroes and Villians, Wind Chimes, and of course, Good Vibrations, save this album from being entire awful. Listen to songs Barnyard and Vega-tables to realize that Brian Wilson has nothing interesting left to sing about. Actually, don't listen to them, just take my word for it and skip this album entirely. Expand
  85. 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.
  86. 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
  87. DaveD
    Jan 7, 2005
    10
    Best album since Brainwashed. That's along time.
  88. JohnD
    Jan 7, 2005
    0
    Just awful.
  89. harrypotter
    Oct 9, 2005
    1
    Opt for the Beach Boys originals instead. This is the sound of some demented old geezer trying to relive his glory days while equally demented old critics and musos oddly lap it all up. The emperors new clothes springs to mind. Waste of time. Complete and utter.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. JürgenR
    Mar 4, 2005
    10
    The best album of all time!!!
  93. MichaelV
    Mar 7, 2005
    4
    Comparisons to Beatles Sgt. Pepper. Critics are dreaming. My copy of this is for sale. Very disappointing.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. 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
  97. 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
  98. 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
  99. 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.
  100. AndyMcD
    Jul 5, 2005
    2
    Ummmmm... We get it Brian, you like singing "doo wop." Just because this was acceptable in the 60's, doesn't make it so now. Pretty darn overrated.
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]