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The Smile|A Light for Attracting Attention

A Light for Attracting Attention

The Smile

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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/Qobuz

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A Light for Attracting Attention

The Smile

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1
The Same Explicit
00:04:19

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

2
The Opposite
00:03:06

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

3
You Will Never Work In Television Again Explicit
00:02:48

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

4
Pana-vision
00:04:08

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Claire O'Connell, StudioMusician - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Oliver Coates, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Tom Herbert, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Clifton Harrison, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - Sophie Mather, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Zoe Matthews, StudioMusician - Agata Darashkaite, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

5
The Smoke
00:03:39

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Byron Wallen, StudioMusician - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Tom Herbert, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Theon Cross, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

6
Speech Bubbles
00:04:16

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Claire O'Connell, StudioMusician - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Oliver Coates, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Tom Herbert, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Clifton Harrison, StudioMusician - Zara Benyounes, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - Sophie Mather, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Zoe Matthews, StudioMusician - Agata Darashkaite, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

7
Thin Thing
00:04:30

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

8
Open The Floodgates
00:04:29

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

9
Free In The Knowledge
00:04:12

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Claire O'Connell, StudioMusician - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Oliver Coates, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Tom Herbert, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Clifton Harrison, StudioMusician - Zara Benyounes, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - Sophie Mather, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Zoe Matthews, StudioMusician - Agata Darashkaite, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

10
A Hairdryer
00:05:17

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Oliver Coates, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Tom Herbert, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Clifton Harrison, StudioMusician - Zara Benyounes, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - Sophie Mather, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Zoe Matthews, StudioMusician - Agata Darashkaite, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

11
Waving A White Flag
00:03:47

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Oliver Coates, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Clifton Harrison, StudioMusician - Zara Benyounes, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Sophie Mather, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Zoe Matthews, StudioMusician - Agata Darashkaite, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

12
We Don't Know What Tomorrow Brings
00:03:16

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

13
Skrting On The Surface
00:05:31

Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - NIGEL GODRICH, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Programmer, MixingEngineer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Byron Wallen, StudioMusician - Jason Yarde, StudioMusician - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Oliver Coates, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Warner Chappell Music Ltd., MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Tom Herbert, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Warp Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - Mikko Gordon, Engineer - Clifton Harrison, StudioMusician - Zara Benyounes, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Chelsea Carmichael, StudioMusician - Theon Cross, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nathaniel Cross, StudioMusician - Sophie Mather, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Zoe Matthews, StudioMusician - Agata Darashkaite, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist

2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2022 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

Album review

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/Qobuz

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