"this good compilation is full of energy and power of youth. they are ultimately pure and "loud". Loud guitar and dreamy vocal yield a melody of ecstacy. listen this and get natural high!"
A taste of things to come
trainreader | Montclair, N.J. | 10/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ride's "Smile" consists of eight relatively short songs, and possesses a raw garage sound quality. The elements that made Ride such an important "shoe-gazer" band, and "Nowhere" one of the seminal albums of that category of music, can be heard in "Smile." Right from the start, with the lively "Chelsea Girl," one notes the interplay of the distorted droning guitars and remarkable vocal harmonies of Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, which came to define the sound of the band. Just as important to the band's overall sound, however, are the driving rhythms of bassist Steve Queralt and drummer Laurence Colbert. All are first caliber musicians, and Ride could have been a much bigger band if they had been give some radio play, and hadn't run out of steam after their third album.
My favorite track on Smile is "All I can See," followed by "Chelsea Girl," and "Furthest Sense." I also really like the way "Perfect Time" changes pace at the end. But there are no weak songs and I could certainly see where others might name different songs as the album's best.
As mentioned above, "Smile" has a certain raw, under-produced quality that I kind of enjoy. However, neither it, nor most of Ride's other albums can compare with the band's next offering, "Nowhere" which was obviously engineered much more meticulously."
An early glimpse into beautiful shoegaze noise/pop.
RockerDad | Renton, WA USA | 03/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Ride's first two ep's compiled onto one release for the U.S. market. The band wrote, performed, and produced all the music within. Coming before their debut album 'Nowhere', this album has some real gems that foretell what was to come from this great band. It also has a slightly 'murkier' sound than their future releases, with guitar lines often fading into one another, soaked in feedback/reverb, rather than soaring above the rest of the noise. Nonetheless, for shoegaze and new Ride fans, this is still essential.
Almost every track is a standout, with the exception of All I Can See and Close My Eyes. For me, these are somewhat forgettable filler. Chelsea Girl, though, announces their emergence into the music world with a blast of noisy pop. Drive Blind would have fit perfectly onto 'Nowhere', with it's long feedback-soaked middle section. Like a Daydream is amazing-for many the highlight of the album-absolutely gorgeous, shimmering guitars, and verses that clearly influenced Teenage Fanclub (listen to Star Sign off of 'Bandwagonesque'). Silver is a bit of a downer after Like a Daydream-slow, droning, discordant; but it's still good. My album favorites, though, are Furthest Sense and Perfect Time. Jangly guitars, honey-soaked melodies guide Furthest Sense into shoegazer heaven (upon hearing this, it was clear to me where many early American dreampop bands got the basis for their guitar sound). Then Perfect Time ends the album with a rush-the song leaves you giddy, wanting more. Which, of course, is exactly what Ride wanted to do.
From here on out, Ride was an essentially flawless band...that is until Carnival of Light appeared. Then the story changes.
Also- If you've got this, and all their albums, and want more, seek out the Today Forever e.p. (with the menacing shark cover). It's arguably the best thing they ever released-came out imbetween 'Nowhere' and 'Going Blank Again' (It's now been tacked onto the end of the Nowhere import)."
Sakos | United States | 10/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Smile is a collection of Ride's first 2 EPs (4 songs on each) and is phenomenal. Every song on here is just fantastic, and my favorites are Chelsea Girl, Drive Blind, Like a Daydream, and Silver. Ride mixes the wall-of-sound guitars with feedback, a pulsating rhythm section, and ethereal vocal harmonies perfectly. One of the great, "lost" unknown (at least in America) bands....gone since 1995 but certainly not forgotten!"