Pharrell's Bonus Track "Smile" Won't Make Anyone "Happy" — LISTEN
When you release a song called "Smile" when you're currently best known for a song called "Happy", then you're practically begging for comparisons to be drawn. The Japanese release of Pharrell's album G I R L came with a bonus track called "Smile" and it definitely sounds like a bonus track. "Smile" is the kind of song that you sing because you're in a really good mood, not because it's actually any good. It's upbeat and buoyant and generally feel-good, but it's also a little cheesy. "Happy" is still one of the most overplayed songs of 2014, but at least it did a lot of things melodically to distract us from any lyrical missteps.
"Smile" is accompanied by not much more than drum clicks, a repetitive piano melody, and a synthesizer, showcasing Pharrell's voice and the lyrics above all else. The single word title makes up the entirety of the chorus while the rest of the song discusses how pleased Pharrell is to be a father. Pharrell's voice delivers as it always does, but the lyrics are just a little much. "Nothing to prove, so I don't say nothing," Pharrell sings. "Just close my eyes and I stand there and I smile. Smile, for you."
On the one hand, it's always great to see such an outpouring of emotion from men without being accompanied by any shame in doing it. Remember when Pharrell cried on Oprah? Take that, antiquated gender stereotypes! However, while "Smile" is a great song for getting into Pharrell's current and well-deserved mindset, it's not that good of a song otherwise. The music will probably be stuck in your head for weeks, but it's otherwise pretty forgettable.
All of the new music that Pharrell has been putting out lately have been great in terms of showing his range as a musician and how much he deserves all the attention he's been getting. However, we already have "Happy" and it was great up until the 150th time someone played it. "Smile" doesn't really compare.
Listen to the song below.