Smile

I’m pretty good at obsessing. I’ve practiced it for years, and when you practice something you get good at it. My current obsession is Brian Wilson’s (Beach Boys) new album Smile. First of all, the music is excellent. This album is the follow up to the Beach Boys Pet Sounds. But what pushes the album over the edge for me is that it was a project started in 1966 and scrapped when the Beach Boys disapproved of the project and when Brian had a nervous breakdown that followed him through the years with depression and drug abuse. Smile was to be Brian’s magnum opus. And now, 36 years later, in 2004, with the help of a brand new band, he has finished the project. This is such a testament to me of hard work through adversity. And the music is wonderful. From the opening tracks Prayer and Heroes and Villains to the concluding rerecording of the classic Good Vibrations the entire album is a tour de force of musical virtuosity. I can’t recommend it enough.

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