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Either/Or
     

Either/Or

4.1 8
by Elliott Smith
 

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Elliott Smith's third album sees his one-man show getting a little more ambitious. While he still plays all the instruments himself, he plays more of them. Several of the songs mimic the melody mastery of pop bands from 1960s. The most alluring numbers, however, are still his quietly melancholy acoustic ones. While the full-band songs are catchy and smart, Smith's

Overview

Elliott Smith's third album sees his one-man show getting a little more ambitious. While he still plays all the instruments himself, he plays more of them. Several of the songs mimic the melody mastery of pop bands from 1960s. The most alluring numbers, however, are still his quietly melancholy acoustic ones. While the full-band songs are catchy and smart, Smith's recording equipment isn't quite up to the standards set by the Beatles and the Beach Boys. The humbler arrangements are better suited to the sparse equipment. "Between the Bars," for example, plays Smith's strengths perfectly. He sings, in his endearingly limited whisper, of late-night drinking and introspection, and his subdued strumming creates a minor-key mood befitting the mysteries of self. "Angeles" is equally ethereal -- Smith's acoustic fingerpicking spins out notes which briskly move around a single atmospheric keyboard chord, like aural minnows swimming toward a solitary light at the surface of the water. The lyrics are a darkly biting rejection of the hypercapitalist dream machinery of Los Angeles (it would make a great theme song for Smith's label, Kill Rock Stars). Ironically, "Angeles" was included on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, which won Smith the acclaim of Hollywood's biggest, brightest, and best connected voting body, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Smith's stock in L.A. soared after he took his bow at the Oscars with Celine Dion and Trisha Yearwood. It might have been more interesting had he sung "Angeles."

Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/1997
Label:
Kill Rock Stars
UPC:
0759656026925
catalogNumber:
60269
Rank:
1843

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Either/Or 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great album but do not buy it from here. I placed my order a month ago and it has been delayed twice. I have a feeling they put this up as if it for sale to draw people in to buy other products. It is a shoddy and unprofessional business tactic that will eventually catch up to them. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are only a handful of recording artists whose new releases I will buy sound unheard. Elliott Smith is at the top of the list. This was the album that first grabbed me, and it may very well be his best thus far. Poignant songs, but with melody, and enhanced by Smith's whispery delivery. As far as I'm concerned, this album is essential.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful album, one that contains essential Elliott Smith songs. Either/Or is still relatively early Elliott when his music was very basic and raw. Although, personally Figure 8 is my favorite elliott album, this album is necessary to someone who enjoys listening to a guy making music for the joy of the music and not because of millions of adoring fans or for radio stations or sellout football stadiums.
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