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Elliott Smith Discography (Reviewed)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Prime, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    This thread will be used for each of Elliott Smith's albums reviewed by this guy. So let's just get straight to it.

    First album on the list will be XO

    ELLIOTT SMITH - XO

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    XO has a lot of different meanings to it for me and in general.
    First off, it was one of the first Elliott Smith albums I listened to fully a few months after I discovered New Moon, which I had only listened to once, and didn't pay full enough attention to enjoy it.

    There are quite a few of my all time favorite Elliott Smith tracks off this album, more specifically Tomorrow Tomorrow, Waltz #2, and Independence Day.
    All of the tracks off this album though have a very special feel to them which I enjoy with each album listen. There isn't really a bad track on the album at all. It flows great, Elliott Smith has a great voice, and the lyrics are as usual, beyond incredible.

    XO in my opinion seems like one of his more upbeat albums in relation to a couple of his other albums.
    From The Basement On The Hill is probably the other album that I would label upbeat.

    With Elliott Smith, you would expect to hear a lot of sadness and depression in his lyrics, and this album along with each of his other releases is evident of that. It's unfortunate that he was such a sad person, because his music really sticks out from a lot of indie folk artists nowadays. Evidently in this album, you learn that Elliott uses his own voice at different ranges to make the songs as complete as they are. Which is much different than his live work obviously, considering he cannot use different voices at one time. Some people would say that's an over usage of production, I think it's a good use of trying to convey your music with different ranges. In this album specifically, you hear his multiple ranges used throughout all of the songs off the album, specifically Baby Britain and Sweet Adeline



    If you're new to Elliott's music, XO or From The Basement On The Hill are the two albums I would start with to get a feel to his music.
    It'll help you get a grasp for his lyrics, and will help get an ear for his music, depending on if you like his voice or not.

    Waltz #2


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    Next review: From The Basement On The Hill
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  2. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    ELLIOTT SMITH - FROM THE BASEMENT ON THE HILL

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    From The Basement On The Hill along with XO is an album that I would recommend upon first listen with Elliott Smith. The album full through captures all of his emotion through his lyrics. The album comes out to 15 tracks, which is a bit lengthy for an indie folk album, but it isn't too lengthy for this specific indie folk artist. Elliott Smith had a way of being able to express his emotions equally with each song he created. Evidently in this album with Pretty (Ugly Before) and A Fond Farewell.

    I want to speak about A Fond Farewell specifically, because when I read about what the meaning was behind the song, it raised my appreciation for Elliott as an artist and a lyricist. A Fond Farewell is a song about him saying "farewell" to his fans, but the lyrics show him speaking it in 3rd person to a "friend", when that friend is him speaking of himself. I can't seem to remember if I have heard any other artist pull that off as well as Elliott did. Not to mention, the song is beyond catchy regardless of the meaning:

    A Fond Farewell



    This is another one of his albums where you get to hear his unique vocal styles throughout the album. (his mixing of different range in vocals). When you think about it, you think that sort of thing wouldn't work, but with an impressive familiarity of the acoustic guitar, and his style of singing, he pulls it off very well.

    As stated, From The Basement On The Hill is one of his more upbeat albums in some parts, but also has a lot of emotion put into it, as would be expected with any Elliott Smith album.

    For example:

    Memory Lane



    Isolation pulled you past a tunnel
    To a bright world where you can make a place to stay
    But everybody's scared of this place, they're staying away


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    Next review: Either/Or
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  3. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    ELLIOTT SMITH - EITHER-OR

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    When it comes to having a good feel about music and indie folk in general, Either-Or is a great example of taking indie folk to a whole new level. Once again, you hear some of the wonderful Elliott Smith vocals that you have come to enjoy (assuming you've listened to some of the other albums he has released).

    The album starts out with Speed Trials which is a pretty upbeat and catchy start to what may be another one of Elliott's finest works. Once Speed Trials ends, it goes into a couple of my all time favorite Elliott Smith tracks. Such as Alameda, and Ballad of a Big Nothing.

    Alameda is one of the most amazing of his works in my honest opinion, you really truly feel a lot of his emotion through the music. The guitar, drums, and vocals are all clean and easy going. It's got a very catchy start, and ends phenomenally.

    Alameda



    "if you're alone it must be you that wants to be apart"

    Alameda, along with Ballad of a Big Nothing are some of his finest portrayals of how emotionally captured he truly was. His music was probably one of the best ways he expressed his true feelings. People who knew him had said that he seemed to be happy in life and was healthy. But in his music, you can see that he was an emotionally disturbed alcoholic and drug addict. It's truly a shame that he left the Earth earlier than warranted. An album like Either-Or comes very few times in a lifetime.

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    Next review: Figure 8
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  4. Garrett

    Garrett ✯ Blues Man ✯

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    :clap: Great Thread.....I will defiantly be checking his music out....Thanks!
     
  5. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    ELLIOTT SMITH - FIGURE 8​


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    Figure 8, as a whole, would probably take 2nd or 3rd place in terms of numerically listing Elliott's album based on my favoritism. This is probably one of the albums that I could say that I don't entirely like every song on the album, which is ok, because they are songs that will take time to get used to. One song in particular would have to be Somebody That I Used To Know



    I don't want to say I hate this song, because I really don't. The music and the lyrics are great, but the way Elliott uses his range in vocals and the style he uses just isn't one I am too fond of. But like I said, it's growing on me.

    As an album though, this one has a very good indie folk feel to it, as it should, considering that is the genre Elliott Smith is known for. There are two songs off this album that I would classify as my favorites off the album, and those would be Pretty Mary K, and LA. Both have a good feel, great lyrics, great emotion, everything I love about Elliott Smith.



    But there is one song off the album that is so emotionally rich, that I just have to mention it in the review. Just listen for yourself. It's nearly flawless when it comes to being one of the most emotional songs Elliott ever wrote:

    Here's the live version, I couldn't find the studio version:



    Anyway, that's it for this review.

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    Haven't decided which album i'll be reviewing next, i'm thinking about An Introduction To...Elliott Smith
     
  6. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    ELLIOTT SMITH - AN INTRODUCTION TO...ELLIOTT SMITH

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    If there ever was a greatest hits album done right, it was this one. An Introduction To...Elliott Smith is a compilation of some of his best works all put into one album. And in my opinion, it truly is filled with some of his best works. I'm talking songs like...Waltz #2, Ballad of A Big Nothing, Alameda, and Needle In The Hay. That's only a few among many that are on this album.

    Every song that I absolutely love is featured on this album, as mentioned above:



    One song in specific however is probably one I would recommend for anybody, even if you aren't an Elliott Smith song. The pureness and raw emotion put into this one song is beyond anything I have heard prior to indie folk:

    Needle In The Hay



    This album in general just takes everything I love about Elliott Smith, and compiles it together for leisure, and it's done so very well. Even the name "An Introduction To...Elliott Smith". That's the perfect album title for this album, because it gives you a taste of what this man did with a guitar and music in general. Gives you a very good taste of what his music is about, and what he is like as a musician.

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  7. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    ELLIOTT SMITH - NEW MOON

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    New Moon, is probably my least favorite of all of Elliott Smith's releases. Not for anything too terrible, it's just one of those albums by an artist that you push into your "I won't listen to this often" list. Granted, the album has a few hits that I really enjoy, but otherwise, I feel like the album lacks in pure Elliott Smith emotion. Out of all of his releases, this one I feel lacks what the other albums had. His art, his soul, his emotion, his love. Those traits are all so evident through his other releases, but I just don't feel it with this album.

    One song I do like however, is High Times, i'd easily put it in my top 5 of Elliott Smith songs regardless of the album that it comes from:



    To be a little more forward, I don't feel like Elliott put up his best vocal talent throughout this album, I feel like it was forced just to complete the album. Granted, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong in assuming it, it's just how I feel. This album is a pretty good example of one of those albums that shouldn't be as long as they are. It comes to a total of 24 tracks. I think that's the big issue with this album, it could have been a much better piece of work if it had 12 or 13 tracks cut from it. Most of the songs off the album feel like fillers.

    I will give credit to Elliott for attempting to make a lengthy album, but he should have stuck with the shorter albums. His other work proves that he did have an enormous amount of talent. And it shows.

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  8. Prime

    Prime Daydreaming

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    This concludes my Elliott Smith reviews. I've reviewed every one of his albums minus his debut album. I can't find it anywhere, but once I do, I will add it to this review thread. But as for now, his major releases have been reviewed.
     

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