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SMiLE

Brian Wilson

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Thirty-seven long, troubled years after it vanished into the ether as The Greatest Album That Never Was, Brian Wilson's musical Rohrshach test finally completes the ambitious artistic circle he'd begun on Pet Sounds. Wilson and his modern touring band re-entered the studios in 2004 to remake pop's Holy Grail with meticulous attention to the original. Original collaborator Van Dyke Parks returns as well, adding small, but crucial new elements that complete his Americana-rich, impressionistic lyrical vision. The gene pool lottery aspect of The Beach Boys' glorious harmonies may be missed, but Wilson (ably assisted by his sidemen, notably Jeffrey Foskett and The Wondermints) gracefully evokes their spiritual power on the a cappella "Our Prayer" and glorious "Child is Father of the Man," then pushes the vocal ensemble envelope to inventive, loopy extremes on an extended "Heroes and Villains" and "Vega-Tables." The "Vibrations" here nearly rivals the original sessions, and it's prefaced by a wealth of sheer, joyful revelation -- "Song For Children," the "I'm in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around.." medley, the "elements" suite "Wind Chimes"/"Mrs. O'Leary's Cow"/"Blue Hawaii." A triumph of the creative spirit over boundaries of mere time and space, Brian Wilson's playful, endlessly inventive dream is finally realized -- and aptly titled.

Customer Reviews

Smile

This is the work of a great American composer. What a wondeerful record. It's staggering to think of the effect this album would have had if released back when it was written, 1967. Pop music would have been influenced stongly because it was so advanced for it's time. It's musically sophisticated. Brian Wilson is always seeking emotional impact with his melodies (not to mention his famous harmonies) and in this record he zips all over the emotional map, in a patchwork of moods that jump from one to the other on a virtually cinematic journey, If this album had come out in '67 a religion would have sprung up around it. It's all about the birth of America, in musical moods.

Good but not amazing

I consider myself to be very open-minded when it comes to music, and I have indeed listened to this album many times. I am trying to find the magic that everyone else seems to see. I heard about all the hype before I bought it. Phrases like, "unfinished masterpiece," and "the next Sgt. Pepper's." I'm really sorry to all the believers and fans, but it is not one of the titans of the repertoire. Wilson sounds just like one would imagine, old and worn down. The lyrics are mostly trivial (yes, I do realize that Sgt. Pepper's lyrics are not exactly Pulitzer material, but the music is great), and the music, although decent, is not enough to redeem. My feelings are that this album missed the boat 30+ years ago. If Brian Wilson and the other Beach Boys put this album out directly following Pet Sounds (which IS a titan of the repertoire), things would probably have been different. I am glad for Mr. Wilson's sake that he finished it, but part of me wishes that he hadn't. The allure of the greatest album that never was, is unfortunately better than the album. Buy Pet Sounds instead.

Don't Wait Another Minute - Buy This!

Chances are you have heard something about this lost masterpiece. All I want to say here is that this was by far the best recording of 2004 and anyone who takes the time to listen will certainly come away better for the experience. The DVD release of the film "Beautiful Dreamer" which follows Brian Wilson's journey into completing this record is also highly reccomended.

Biography

Born: June 20, 1942 in Hawthorne, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Brian Wilson is arguably the greatest American composer of popular music in the rock era. Born and raised in Hawthorne, California, he formed the Beach Boys in 1961 alongside his two younger brothers, cousin Mike Love, and school friend Alan Jardine. Serving as the group's primary songwriter, Wilson combined the rock urgency of Chuck Berry with the harmonies of the Four Freshmen before expanding his musical imagination during the late '60s, during which time he experimented with new songwriting structures...
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