The Smile – A Light for Attracting Attention (2022) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

The Smile – A Light for Attracting Attention (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 53:25 minutes | 629 MB | Genre: Art Rock, Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © XL Recordings

Debut album from The Smile – comprising Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead, with Tom Skinner from Sons of Kemet.

When is a Radiohead record not a Radiohead record? That’s a fair question when listening to the debut from The Smile—which includes most prominent Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and is produced by Nigel Godrich, who has worked on every Radiohead album since OK Computer. They’re even recycling bits and bobs of old songs that never made the permanent Radiohead roster, like “Skrting on the Surface” which has roots going back to that band’s In Rainbows era as well as Yorke’s Atoms for Peace side project. Here, it’s served as an ambient moment—as much a mood as a song. Greenwood’s jazz guitar arpeggios dress things up while soft brass fades in and out and Yorke vocalizes like flotsam drifting through the ether. In other words, the song plays it cool: a good simmer that doesn’t need to overdo it as a full-on boil. “Open the Floodgates” started as a Radiohead track back in 2006, when it was known as “Porous,” and also got revived for live gigs with Atoms for Peace. It sure sounds like a frustrated commentary on concert fans: “Don’t bore us/ Get to the chorus/ And open the floodgates/ We want the good bits/ Without your bullshit.” (Pretty perfect for a band named after the Ted Hughes poem “The Smile,” with its ominous warning about hungry fakers consuming purity.) Joining the band is jazz drummer Tom Skinner, also of Sons of Kemet, who lays down a busy, jittery rhythm that matches the oddly charming funk-to-post-punk-siren path of “The Opposite.” The drums pace like a caged tiger on the big, festival-ready “You Will Never Work in Television Again,” and it’s a wow moment to hear Yorke singing like he’s in the Wipers or Mission of Burma. He hits his famed upper register on “Pana-vision,” a moody, fog-at-the-seaside piano track with strings conducted by Hugh Brunt, who has worked with both Radiohead and Greenwood on his film scores. “Thin Thing” thrives on math-rock tension. “Speech Bubbles” is a graceful, if morose crawl. “The Same” delivers great washes of uneasy noise. “Waving a White Flag” brainwashes with sterile, spacey synth followed by drawling strings, like a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. And “Free in the Knowledge,” with its catchy vocal melody, could be Radiohead circa The Bends. – Shelly Ridenour

1-01. The Smile – The Same (04:19)
1-02. The Smile – The Opposite (03:06)
1-03. The Smile – You Will Never Work In Television Again (02:48)
1-04. The Smile – Pana-vision (04:08)
1-05. The Smile – The Smoke (03:39)
1-06. The Smile – Speech Bubbles (04:16)
1-07. The Smile – Thin Thing (04:30)
1-08. The Smile – Open The Floodgates (04:29)
1-09. The Smile – Free In The Knowledge (04:12)
1-10. The Smile – A Hairdryer (05:17)
1-11. The Smile – Waving A White Flag (03:47)
1-12. The Smile – We Don’t Know What Tomorrow Brings (03:16)
1-13. The Smile – Skrting On The Surface (05:31)


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