AOTY 2023

A Light for Attracting Attention

The Smile - A Light for Attracting Attention
Critic Score
Based on 29 reviews
2022 Ratings: #46 / 807
Year End Rank: #12
User Score
2022 Ratings: #50
Liked by 559 people
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The Irish Times

The question whether Radiohead will follow up A Moon Shaped Pool any time soon becomes a lot less important upon hearing A Light for Attracting Attention. The Smile have released the best album of 2022 so far.

XS Noize

A Light for Attracting Attention amplifies that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring for the entity that is Radiohead. But regardless of the future path of Radiohead, The Smile has much to attract attention and is worthy of any serious music aficionado’s consideration.

Northern Transmissions
‘A Light for Attracting Attention’ is a magnificent record by once in a generation musicians. It’s an album to make you more than smile.
If Radiohead's hiatus is looking increasingly permanent,then The Smile will do very nicely.
The gang is still here, in 2022, in their bloody element, vindicated. Duty-bound to release yet another exquisite evocation of the human condition and uplift our weary spirits with a smile.
The debut from Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and drummer Tom Skinner’s new group is instantly, unmistakably the best album yet by a Radiohead side project.

A Light For Attracting Attention stands proudly on its own merits as a top-tier piece of art rock, connections to a certain critically and publicly acclaimed band aside.

Under the Radar
The Smile’s looser creative approach offers a new light and welcoming side to Yorke and Greenwood, all while showcasing the enduring creative chemistry behind two of their generation’s most celebrated musicians.
Spectrum Culture
After over a decade of focused projects, each technically interesting but lacking the full Radiohead cohesivity, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood along with drummer Tom Skinner and producer Nigel Godrich have finally borne the fruits of the skills they honed through the 2010s in one dazzling project.

For now, A Light for Attracting Attention is a versatile beacon for Yorke and Greenwood’s groovier side, and a remarkably assured debut that—let’s be honest—doesn’t really feel like a debut at all.

Beats Per Minute

In 2022, the feeling that we’re living in a broken, corrupt system is practically mainstream, and The Smile’s by turns rugged and reflective album provides a perfect soundtrack for these anchorless times.

The Radiohead side project most likely to be mistaken for Radiohead brings together Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood with Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner.
It all feels remarkably familiar, but given the record’s pedigree, that’s far from a bad thing.

The Smile aren’t a full-on syncretism of Radiohead and Sons of Kemet, but A Light for Attracting Attention proves that it needn’t be.


Diehards should be quite pleased with this release: an utterly satisfying set of songs that stands tall on its own, yet could easily climb the ranks against any of Radiohead's late-era efforts.

Classic Rock

Whatever the label says, this is the best Radiohead album in over a decade.

Record Collector

Far more than an indulgent side project, A Light for Attracting Attention deserves to be taken on its own merits as a daring, invigorating and often very moving piece of work in its own right.

The Young Folks

A Light For Attracting Attention is a master-stroke of dystopic genius brought together by proven elites of the music world. It’s a real experiment.

The Observer
The debut album from Thom Yorke’s latest side project finds him in excellent voice, on tracks that veer from spiky post-punk to teasingly romantic.
The Telegraph

Overall ... this is guitar music at its most thrilling.

Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner cut loose on this curious and energetic supergroup romp.

It seems this three-piece format allows him to manoeuvre more nippily than Radiohead's stately battleship.

The Guardian
Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood team with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner for a debut that may not be head-spinningly different, but is still exceptional.
Loud and Quiet

Whether you’re chomping at the bit for a new Radiohead album, or simply want to listen to some wonderfully executed and experimental alternative rock, this is a record worthy of your time.

Rolling Stone
Radiohead’s songwriting nucleus team with jazz drummer Tom Skinner on ‘A Light for Attracting Attention,’ a lower-stakes, jammy album with some of their most straightforward songs in years.

It's too familiar-sounding to be revelatory, but six years on from A Moon Shaped Pool — the longest-ever break between Radiohead albums — it's a pleasure to hear Yorke and Greenwood's talent undiminished as they hit the sweet spot of their sound.

The Line of Best Fit

It wouldn’t be that hard to mistake A Light For Attracting Attention for the long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, however. What’s more, it would be a worthy successor, too.


"Radiohead-lite is still better than most bands"

-JDX_99 on RateYourMusic

I can't see myself ever caring enough to sit down and listen to this whole album again, but it was a fine listen while I was here. Most of these tracks sound amazing, but have almost no substance from Thom. Not much reason for me to return honestly.

Still... better than the Chainsmokers

Edit (69 -> 71): I am actually mad this grew on me a bit because these 2 points I give this for the few moments growing ... read more


Radiohead with a better drummer
For real guys, this is just as good as any amazing Radiohead album but with a slightly harder emphasis on math rock and krautrock. So basically everything I love.


I want to eat the album cover

YO FUCK YEA this wasn’t underwhelming I’m so happy. Radiohead is easily one of my favorite bands, and Thom Yorke is a huge part of that, so of course I was excited to hear what he had planned for The Smile. Honestly with some of the singles I was real worried this would be kinda meh but man the deep cuts did a great job at making this album more consistent. Even if every song isn’t the best there are some incredibly good moments here. I love how ... read more


eh... idk. Maybe it'll grow on me.


Edit: it grew on me. what was I smoking? 63 → 87

This album is beautiful. Not a single bad track on this thing. I love the drumming on the record and there's some great basslines here as well. "Free In the Knowledge" is one of the best tracks I've heard from 2022. Indescribable, to be honest. I do find the track "The Opposite" to be incredibly underrated- it's one of my favorites off of this album, I just think it's quite groovy ... read more


This sounds a lot like Thom Yorke & Johnny Greenwood.


The Same really sounds like Little Dark Age.
FAV: The Same
L/FAV: The Opposite

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Added on: March 19, 2022