Music Reviews

Music Reviews

One for nostalgia

Smile is an album by The Beach Boys recorded throughout 1966 and 1967. It was conceived, recorded, and ultimately abandoned. During the years, Smile remained unavailable, and had come to be regarded as the most famous unreleased album of all time.

The Smile Sessions is a version of the album reconstructed from the original recordings, along with many session highlights and outtakes. Smile Sessions invites the listener into the studio to experience the album’s creation, with producer, singer and bassist Brian Wilson’s vision leading the way, as he guides his fellow Beach Boys, singer Mike Love, drummer Dennis Wilson, lead guitarist Carl Wilson, rhythm guitarist Al Jardine, and newest member Bruce Johnston.

Smile’s awesome opening sweep ranges from the wordless, ethereal Our prayer to the dark, lurching rumble of Do you like worms? via a brief cover of the Crows’ 1953 hit Gee and the wilfully episodic version of Heroes and villains. One of the most romantic myths hold that, had the album come out as intended in 1967 — instead of being abandoned unfinished — it would have been acclaimed as a masterpiece, eclipsed the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper and changed the course of rock history. Well, it is for the listener to judge.

Michael Patrao

Ten-year recollection

The animated musical project or band, Gorillaz, consisting of four virtual characters, was created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in 1998. Starting this collection off on a melancholic note is Tomorrow comes today, followed by Clint Eastwood, the band’s first, and probably best-known, single. Of course, a remixed version of Clint Eastwood appears once again towards the end, making me wonder if there weren’t many notable hits in the first place.

The same goes for 19-2000, a slower, original version of which appears at first — a little disconcerting since the many FIFA Football 2002 games I had played on some lazy evenings had only familiarised me with the much peppier, remixed version that featured Soulchild.

But there was no need to worry, the Soulchild version appeared at the fag end, as if to lift one from the moody beginning that was Tomorrow comes today. Some other well-known songs featured here include Feel Good Inc and Superfast Jellyfish. A quick listen through all of the songs in this album appear to be more of a chronological compilation of the band’s music over the years.

Unfortunately, this sort of selection does not paint a full picture of what the band is best known for.

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