Boomkat Product Review:
The debut album from Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinnner's new band The Smile.
The Smile officially debuted last year at Glastonbury, but some of the songs included on their debut have appeared in some kind of form at Radiohead shows over the last few years. Listening from beginning to end, while there's a minimalism and melancholy to the album that's elevated by The Smile's collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra, if we were told this was Radiohead, we wouldn't question it.
Opening track 'The Same' is like a "Kid A"/"Amnesiac"-era gem, a head-to-head between Greenwood (on synths) and Yorke (on vocals) that acts as a fake-out before the record treads assuredly into a guitar 'n drums-led post-punk groove. 'You Will Never Work in Television Again' is angular and chunky, a Radiohead goes Talking Heads moment if you want, but 'The Smoke' hits the band's other pole, with Stereolab-style bass and breathy drums accompanying Yorke's signature falsetto. "It's easy, don't mess with me," he states before orchestral swoops pick the grandiosity from the song's exposed skeleton.
'Speech Bubbles' is a gift for any of us who miss the weepier parts of "The Bends" or "OK Computer". Evocative guitar arpeggios and a barely-present drum beat play second fiddle to the LCO's cinematic sweeps, Yorke sounds in his element completely." 'Open The Floodgates' is another high point, matching piano with modular cycles, cautiously introducing guitar that ties the entire thing together.