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Smile (Brian Wilson album)

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Artist: Brian Wilson

Date Released: September 28, 2004

Label: Nonesuch

Produced By: Brian Wilson

Tracklisting:

  1. Our Prayer/Gee
  2. Heroes and Villains
  3. Roll Plymouth Rock
  4. Barnyard
  5. Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine
  6. Cabin Essence
  7. Wonderful
  8. Song for Children
  9. Child is Father of the Man
  10. Surf's Up
  11. I'm in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop
  12. Vega-Tables
  13. On a Holiday
  14. Wind Chimes
  15. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
  16. In Blue Hawaii
  17. Good Vibrations


ReviewEdit

It's been 38 years since the release of Pet Sounds, which could be considered Brian Wilson’s greatest album, and technically done by The Beach Boys. This album, Smile, was actually the follow-up to Pet Sounds, and was slated for a 1967 release, but after 85 recording sessions, Wilson halted the production because he was not satisfied. From there, Wilson became a hermit and was not heard from again until recently. This brings us to the present, where the songwriting genius has dug up the old tapes from the Smile sessions and almost completely reworked the album. The result is classic Brian Wilson, meaning pop perfection assembled through the use of what he calls “feels,” or short, cyclical pieces of music that can be overdubbed and mixed into tons of different arrangements. The album almost comes off schizophrenic, because each song (which is usually only about 2 minutes long) will take a completely different direction a number of times before its completion. Not to mention there are very few pauses throughout the album; in fact if you don’t watch your CD player for the track change, you will miss it every time. The album is broken down into three separate parts: Americana is the first section, followed by Cycle of Life and concludes with the Elements. Though this is slightly revitalized for modern times, this is still classic Brian Wilson. The vast instrumentation, the ingenious vocal harmonies (the lyrics were actually done by Van Dyke Parks) and his brilliant pop sensibility are still prominent, and sound as if the album was released on time. Smile is your closure to the void left by the self-destruction of The Beach Boys back in the 60s… enjoy. Mpardaiolo

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