Thursday, September 17, 2009

Album of the Week: SMiLE

Brian Wilson

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.


1. "Our Prayer/Gee" - 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" - 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" - 1:56
12. "Vega-Tables" - 2:19
13. "On a Holiday" - 2:36
14. "Wind Chimes" - 2:54
15. "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" - 2:27
16. "In Blue Hawaii" - 3:00
17. "Good Vibrations" - 4:36

Why I chose this

Well a few weeks ago I picked Pet Sounds, the classic brainchild of Wilson and long time favourite of mine. All were impressed and since then I have been listening to it's spiritual follow up SMiLE. I think that anyone who loves Pet Sounds will also love this and I really want someone to share the album with, because every time I hear it, it grabs me even more. I can't say much more without actually partially reviewing the different aspects of the record, but I love it and everyone should hear it.

- Eden

AotW Home


  1. When I first started listening to this album it seemd like a jumble of really cool and weird sounds and melodies. I only really had three reference points and the rest was still slowly getting absorbed.

    It was like Heroes and Villains - music in between - Surfs Up - music in between - Good Vibrations.

    Now I know Roll Plymouth Rock, Cabin Essence, Wonderful and Blue Hawaii as great songs. And there is still plenty more that I love yet still am not fully aware of because the whole album flows so well that i continue to get lost.

    Oh yeah and Mrs O'Leary's Cow is a gripping cosmic experience every time

  2. What a great time I had listening to this in the car the other day, it's becoming more coherent. I luuuurve vega-tables! On child is the father of the man it sounds like they're going 'child is te father of the fag' coz of the harmonies lolzies

  3. haha. Yeah vega tables is awesome. i love how he has chewing sounds in it like someone is eating a carrot.

    Im finally at the point where good vibrations is more prominent than the good guys commercial when that amazing tune is in my head


  4. I had my first (and long over due) listen yesterday. This album is really quite strange, and I like the way Wilson sounds. Really cool. Will listen mow fow show.

    Btw Eden, nice work commenting with the BOTM account... cunt.

  5. haha, yeah i was too lazy to sign out and in again.

    seriously every listen is like you dig slightly deeper and discover some more treasure. I still get it now

    Can't beilive you took 2 weeks to start listening. You're a disgrace to botm and aotw afaic.


    I've listened to it about 6-7 times now and your totally right, it just gets you bit by bit. It's still a strange album to me though, in amongst all the weird and wonderful sounds you get a 'flurry' (for want of a better word) of orchestral music, reminiscent of the sheer beauty of 'Lets Go Away For A While'.

    Pet Sounds is more conventional, although that album is out of this world, this album is like this: ~~~~~~~~~~, its basically songless. It's like lying on a surfboard on 1km out to see and letting the sea take you up and down... in this case Brian Wilson is the sea.

    The recording of Good Vibrations on this album has to be one of the most brilliant things I've ever heard.

  7. omg u dnt no afaic? wtf? afaic means as far as im concerned, afaic.

    I like the surfboard sea anology. It does seem to just wash through you without stopping.

    One thing Im not sure of is whether the lyrics have a layered meaning to them. With all the child is father of the man, and the barnyard themes it seems like there is something in it. Plus Pet Sounds had some amazing lyrics (albeit from a different lyricist) so I would imagine he wanted to keep that layer in this masterpiece