Saturday, 28 July 2007

Elliott Smith - Either/Or (1997)

Elliott Smith has been back in the press again recently for the compilation of B-sides, named "New Moon" that was released last month. I am yet to hear it, but I thought I'd focus here on my favourite of his albums from his tragically short, but illustrious career.
Either/Or was Smith's final release on the independent Kill Rock Stars label and it finds him in fine form and at a real transition point between his early and later styles. Several of the songs feature full instrumentation with Smith playing drums, bass, keyboards and electric guitars as well as his trusted acoustic. The sound, sometimes still stripped down, hints at earlier releases but the ventures into full instrumentation also add to the songs and show the direction Smith would go on his following albums.
Throughout, the melodies are breathtaking and very catchy while still retaining a timeless sound. No second of any song seems unneccesary and that is perhaps why I fell in love with this album, the songs just seem 'right' together. Each track has very different elements and the album is filled with both very haunting and, in contrast, upbeat moments. I almost always listen to this at night, and I think that's just the nature of it, slightly eerie and suited to the evening. I'd be interested if anyone else has found this?! Although it is very hard I would say my favourite songs are the trilogy of "Angeles", "Cupid's Trick" and "2:45am" which really take you on a journey through moods in the little over 9 minutes. The way the latter broods and builds is just beautiful, as the anger in his voice seeps through the delicate guitar. You should buy this one for that song alone but in truth this is a classic to me and could be for any fan of rock, acoustic and classic songwriting.


1 comment:

blend77 said...

easily my most favorite Elliot Smith record... from start to finish it is butter...