Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brian Wilson "Smile"

"Smile, sometimes typeset with the idiosyncratic partial capitalization SMiLE, is a solo album by Brian Wilson, with lyrics by Van Dyke Parks released on 28 September 2004 on CD and two-disc vinyl. Wilson, Parks and Darian Sahanaja completed the legendary unfinished album project, started in 1966 for Wilson's former band, The Beach Boys. It was released in September 2004 with back-up from members of his touring band, including three members of Wondermints."
This album has more to say than just what wiki introduces to the viewer, this time. It has inspired so many artists. Take in count, ranging into a more experimental background, Animal Collective and Panda Bear or even John Maus. Its clear that many synth-based artists produce melodies nowadays that assure us that SMiLE's impact on popular music culture is remarkable. Brian Wilson's melodramatic pop tunes are so catchy and are a synesthesia of happiness and sadness, that can't be described by these words I'm currently typing. Like it's often said, an image is worth more than 1000 words. These songs are worth more than 1000 images.
A transcendental baroque pop masterpiece, a beautiful alienating psychedelic pop work is what this "SMiLE" is.
It received high critical acclaim from music critics: earned a 97 on Metacritic; All Music's review is pretty good, giving this album 4.5 stars out of 5; Drowned in Sound gave it 10 out of 10 stars; Pitchfork gave it 9 out of 10 stars; Rolling Stone gave it 5 out of 5 stars; Robert Christgau (a great american rock music critic) gave it an A+; Tiny Mix Tapes gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Great reviews, huh? Smile hit #13 in the US during a chart stay of 17 weeks. It reached #7 in the UK, going gold (100,000).
The label that was lucky enough to release this record was Nonesuch.

The track list is the following:
  1. "Our Prayer/Gee" (Brian Wilson/William Davis and Morris Levy) - 2:09
  2. "Heroes and Villains" - 4:53
  3. "Roll Plymouth Rock" - 3:48
  4. "Barnyard" - 0:58
  5. "Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine" (Haven Gillespie and Beasley Smith/Jimmie Davis) - 1:04
  6. "Cabin Essence" - 3:27
  7. "Wonderful" - 2:07
  8. "Song for Children" - 2:16
  9. "Child Is Father of the Man" - 2:18
  10. "Surf's Up" - 4:07
  11. "I'm in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop" (Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks/Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt/Brian Wilson) - 1:56
  12. "Vega-Tables" - 2:19
  13. "On a Holiday" - 2:36
  14. "Wind Chimes" - 2:54
  15. "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" (Brian Wilson) - 2:27
  16. "In Blue Hawaii" - 3:00
  17. "Good Vibrations" (Tony Asher, Mike Love, and Brian Wilson) - 4:36
My favourite songs are: "Good Vibrations" (I don't know if you've heard Psychic TV's cover, which is also pretty mad good), "Surf's Up" and "Cabin Essence".
Some instruments that Brian used to convert this album to a real masterpiece are: keyboards, power drill, whistles, hammer, wood winds, harmonicas, some sound fx, celery, guitars, leg-slap, semi-conductor, mallets, drums, saws, cello, violin, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, bass trombone and [above all] Brian Wilson's vocals.
If you find this album really appealing, you should take a look at this website, a great source of info for this work.
Get this album right here.

Brian Wilson, the man.

Like I usually do after reviewing some albums, I'll put below a song that's included in the subject at hand. This time, it's "Good Vibrations":

By the way, this time I'll add an extra bonus, since you can hear more songs from the album by clicking on them: "Surf's Up", "Wonderful", "Song for Children", "Child is the Father of the Man", "On a Holiday", "Mrs O'Leary's Cow", "Cabin Essence", "Old Master Painter / You Are My Sunshine".

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