The Smile - A Light For Attracting Attention

Started by Thenop, May 13, 2022, 01:17:36 PM

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Release: May 13, 2022
Physical release (LP, CD): June 17, 2022

The Smile - A Light for Attracting Attention

When Thom Yorke's voice kicks in after a minute into The Same you know what you are in for: this has a familiarity to it that cannot be denied.
A Light for Attracting Attention, the album by the latest outfit featuring the Radiohead vocalist, is completed by his guitar companion Johnny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner. It is sold as a side project, but is it? This is the stuff all side projects should be made of: contemporary pop, meandering vocals, a palette of different styles but all tied to gather with a uniqueness that so often is found in Yorke's projects. This one is actually, very, very good. The intrinsic quality lies in the ability to weave an album that sounds like it belongs yet changes at every song. Sure, I must listen to this more but guaranteed this will be a winner in my book.

Is this a Radiohead album in all but name? No, I do not think so. Does it come close to what we all would like as successor for A Moon Shaped Pool? Yes please. And more. 

My first real Radiohead exposure was OK Computer in '97. Sure, I heard Creep like everyone else did but no one could have been prepared for OKC prior to its release based on their previous work.  This was a band that really went for it, with bucketloads of imagination and enough Yorke pathos to convince even the grumpiest of alt-rock fans. All the signs of a landmark album where there: superb originality, excellent songwriting and a sense of hype surrounding it that felt justified.
The Smile feels, in a way, like a successor, like a Kid A to OKC. Maybe not quiet musically, but surely the trio has crafted an album that seems to take a turn at every corner, jumps from left to right without losing direction and the musicianship again, oh my.. Tom Skinner (for those unfamiliar with Sons of Kemet) is a force of rhythmic nature. If you are a bit (more) adventurous, look the Sons up, be prepared for some weird and out of the box stuff for Rush fans though.

If you do not like Radiohead, will you like this? No, not likely. Yorke's voice is such a prominent part of this. But if you want to take a dive into something 'else' and hear what the hype is about: go off the deep end and find out why this will be at every end of year list in 2022.


Stroke of fortune: The Smile has announced their 2nd album. It is called Wall of Eyes and judging by the forst 2 tracks (one of which was released in June and I comletely overlooked it!) it will be another superb outing.
Still play the debut regulary, the vinly pressing I have is exquisite.

Again, don't take my word for it, immerse yourself.


I really should get round to writing a review, it deserves it. Fantastic album.


Going to give it a try, enjoyed the new album and The Smile had gone under my radar.