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Makes me Smile!
on 3 May 2001
As the first album of this 2-fer release the 'Smiley Smile' album for anybody that doesn't know was the first Beach Boys album not to be completly produced, arranged, written and controlled by the chief musical genius Brian Wilson after the fantastic 'Pet Sounds' and 'Good Vibrations' and frankly it shows.
The overall effect is 'under production' with tracks that sound as if they were rushed into completion. It should be mentioned that the aforementioned 'Good Vibrations' is included which sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the rest of the tracks. The closest thing to rival GV here is 'Heroes and Villains' which was one of a couple or so rehashed versions tracks off of another Beach Boys record known as 'Smile' which although never released or completed, from what I have heard makes a mockery of 'Smiley Smile' and is more a like musically to 'Pet Sounds'.
'Wild Honey' is an improvement in many ways on 'Smiley Smile'. Although no masterpiece it does feature some great chill out tracks such as 'Country Air' and 'I'd Love Just Once To See You', as well as one of my faves 'Let The Wind Blow'. Beach Boys fans are usually divided by this record but I like it.
Bonus tracks include 'Smile' material such as a version of 'Heroes and Villains'....Well worth a listen. If anything, these two records are the most 'interesting/challenging' of their vast catalogue.