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Wilson, Brian / Smile
Album:Smile Collection:General
Artist:Wilson, Brian Added:10/2004
Label:Nonesuch Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2004-10-18 Pull Date:2004-12-20 
Week Ending:19 Dec12 Dec5 Dec28 Nov21 Nov14 Nov7 Nov31 Oct
Airplays:11324365

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Album Review
Katie P.
Reviewed 2004-10-18 
Brian Wilson "Smile" - Finally, the legendary Smile album is released! For those who don't know, this was supposed the Beach Boys follow up album to Pet Sounds in 1966. It was supposed to be brilliant, taking pop music to a whole new level, but since it was never released (officially) it was simply stories. Brian Wilson went into the studio with his current backing band and re-recorded the whole thing keeping the instrumental parts almost identical to the 60's tapes. They re-worked some of the lyrics and then put everything together. What you get is perhaps one of the most amazing pop albums ever. It's broken up into 3 main parts: Americana (tracks 1-6), Cycle of Life (tracks 7-10), and Elements (tracks 11-17 representing earth, wind, fire, and water). I think these are really supposed to be played entirely for each section since the songs blend right into each other stopping only between sections. The vocal layers are truly amazing relying on them heavily as percussion and great "oo-ahh" harmonies. Instruments are also perfect with everything from piano to clarinet to cello to slide whistle to crunching carrots. All songs have a bit of a cyclical feel to them reprising certain themes almost as if using looping techniques but on a huge scale. It manages to create several different moods and feelings while keeping it very cohesive at the same time. Each song on its own is great, but put together with the whole album they are truly amazing. Thank you Brian Wilson for finishing Smile. It's simply gorgeous.
My Picks: 2, 12, 13, 17
Katie P. 10/13/04

1) 2 distinct pieces. Beautiful soaring vocal harmonies on "oooo-ahhh" variations for about a minute. Then the second piece starts with muffled a very beach boys-esque vocal harmony. It pulls out into the clear and goes right into the next song.
2) Fast midtempo and bouncy. Tons of instrument layers using horns, whistles, and some great percussive vocals. Song has some moments that fade out and then it sort of starts up again. Wow! Goes right into track 3 (no fade out).
3) Slows a little to a slow midtempo. Simple guitar/bass and then abrupt change to piano and maybe harpsichord. Wow, then an onslaught of vocal layers. Again has some starts and stops. Goes into next track.
4) Cute bouncy song with barnyard noises (chickens, lambs, etc.). Fun with nice "ooo-oos" and then goes right into next song.
5) Starts with strings. Minimal version of "You are My Sunshine" with quiet strings and tapping. Then a sax goes right into the next song.
6) Piano kicks this one off. Sounds like some banjo and harmonica too. Has a camping feel to it. Wow and just like that a massive wall of beautiful vocal harmonies that ends just as abruptly and goes back into the quiet camping feel. End of first section (fades out).
7) Cute and quiet. Horns, harpsichord (or some keyboard), and luscious vocals. So pretty. Goes right into next song.
8) Piano continues with similar theme. Clarinet comes in with drums and it picks up. Cute and bouncy. Wow, horns, flutes, and more. Reprises themes from track 7 and starts theme for track 9.
9) Slows abruptly with piano and shimmering guitar. Continues with "child is father of the man" theme from previous track. Piano and strings bring us into the next song.
10) Similar feel to track 9. Slower and beautiful. Speeds up at times keeping the same quiet feel with piano and strings. Reprises themes from previous tracks (7-9). Vocal layers are so full. End of section 2 (fades out).
11) 3 distinct pieces. Starts with a carnival feel. Then cute bouncy piano. Funny lyrics. Kind of fades out in echo and abruptly turns into a lounge song. Slow and muffled. Then abruptly into sawing and hammering. Other percussive noises and cello go right into next song.
12) Cute bouncy piano and complicated percussion. Great lyrics about vegetables with crunching carrot and celery sounds. Wow!!! Crazy vocal layers too.
13) Again bouncy and cute with xylophone and slide whistle. Pounding drums and then the chorus reprises track 3 (Plymouth rock song). Some clarinets and horns in there too. Beautiful!!! Goes right into next song.
14) Deliberate xylophone oscillation. Quiet vocals. About half through the band bangs in with horns and drums and then abruptly pops out to piano. Then back to the band with vocal "ba-ba-ba" layers. Goes right into next song.
15) Crazy banging walking piano with whistles all over the place. Ratchet sounds and other percussion. Guitars get all fuzzed out and then sirens on top screaming away. Vocals match the sirens a bit. Instrumental. Goes into next song.
16) Echoing vocals. Shimmery feel. Beat comes in to a nice midtempo. A little bouncy with clopping percussion. Speeds up a bit and gets a fun relaxing feel.
17) Uptempo builds with vocals and keyboards. Chorus hits and keeps building with theramin, and tons of vocal harmonies. About half through it falls back to piano and vocal layers, then gets very quiet with organ. Slowly vocals build again. Jumps back into it with about a minute left. It sounds similar to the previously released version of this, but somehow better. Perhaps the best pop song ever. Wow!!

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