SMiLE - Brian Wilson
SMiLE Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 434 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 341
  1. BrianE
    Mar 26, 2010
    Perfection in Sound
  2. IainS
    Jun 23, 2006
    Saw this track by track in 2004, had the experience of Pet Sounds before that TWICE; Brian Wilson is THE living pop genius. If you can't appreciate the genius of Pet Sounds, Smile or Brian Wilson then there really is no hope for you :) Expand
  3. JamesD
    Oct 15, 2004
    best cd i ever owned
  4. CarlP
    Nov 7, 2008
    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
  5. KimM
    May 2, 2009
    Simply superb.
  6. Illiniq
    Aug 21, 2006
    Belongs right next to Pet Sounds as one of the most critically overrated pieces of work in all Rock and Roll history...silly and in many moments intensely unlistenable... How I wish it had been release in it's own era so it could have been properly assessed as fitting into the Beach Boys body of work just as one thinks of Satanic Majesties for the Stones, Let it Be for the Beatles, or Nashville Skyline for Bob Dylan. Other than the classics we've already known for forty years (Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villians, Vegetables) the rest of this is just lame, annoying pop pasiche completely unworthy of any "genius" label. Expand
  7. BigStuart
    Oct 9, 2004
    It has *sheep sounds* in it! god sake! and his voice is incredibly annoying! this sucks so very very bad.

See all 341 User Reviews

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