Smoke - White Williams
Smoke Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Cleveland-based Joe Williams' debut album was recorded in Ohio, New York, and California.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Williams' ostensible depthlessness, like that of his forebears, is itself only a façade, and Smoke offers plenty to discover across repeated listens--particularly the way in which he tweaks his own voice, melting and reshaping it like the models' Technicolor "tears" on the album cover.
  2. Smoke never sounds dated or rehashed--instead, it's a fresh, consistently creative, and consistently listenable debut.
  3. Smoke pulls off the neat trick of seeming weightless and disassociated but never slight, playful, yet neither inconsequential nor silly.
  4. There’s wit and meticulous posturing in the hills: we’ll be waiting right here for tomorrow. After all, there are enough immediately delectable grooves in his eleven tracks today.
  5. 60
    As groups like Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem are making analog programs ring clear as Marshall stacks, Williams makes them sound mysterious, creepy and sexy again--even when geeking out on a cover of Bow Wow Wow’s big hit, 'I Want Candy.'
  6. 60
    For all the squiggly melodies and bumpy computer beats, however, Smoke's strength is his spacey chameleon voice. [Dec 2007, p.126]
  7. Williams' songs are extremely repetitive, relying on MAX/MSP texture for their variance but proceeding at such a pace that it's easy to zone out, a tendency exacerbated by Williams' apparent three-note vocal range. [Fall 2007, p.77]

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. JoeH.
    Dec 11, 2007
    A fascinating, captivating record. Highlights are New Violence, Headlines, and The Shadow. The track Lice in the Rainbow is totally unnecessary, though. Expand