SMiLE - Brian Wilson
SMiLE Image
Metascore
97

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 428 Ratings

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  • Summary: Well, better 37 years late than never. Originally intended to be the Beach Boys' 1967 follow-up to their legendary 'Pet Sounds,' 'Smile' was finally recorded as originally intended in April 2004 by Wilson and his current band, including co-songwriter Van Dyke Parks.
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. 100
    A unique and unlikely moment of retrieval, restoration and renaissance. [Nov 2004, p.98]
  3. 100
    This is a brilliant record, just as it's always been.
  4. 95
    One of the most inspiring and triumphant projects of the year, and perhaps the last 30 years. [#13, p.89]
  5. The end result is a great album, albeit one more lighthearted than its myth would suggest.
  6. This is pop music like nothing before it, or since.
  7. Hearing the newly recorded album as a completed work instead of dismembered modules is a rollicking reassertion of Wilson's compositional genius.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 63 out of 339
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 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
  3. 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. Expand
  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. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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 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
  7. 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 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

See all 339 User Reviews

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