Either/Or [20th Anniversary Edition]

Either/Or [20th Anniversary Edition]

by Elliott Smith


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Either/Or [20th Anniversary Edition]

Elliott Smith's third album finds 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 melodic 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 to 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 and brightest 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." [The expanded CD edition of Either/Or celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The album also marked Smith's last recording before he made a move to the majors for XO and Figure 8. The anniversary edition features a remastered version of the original track listing alongside additional live recordings; a previously unreleased keyboard take of "New Monkey," and fan favorite "I Figured You Out" (which he originally gave to Mary Lou Lord to record). The bonus material is a welcome addition to what is arguably the late singer/songwriter's finest work.]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/07/2017
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602557408713
catalogNumber: 5043718
Rank: 75854

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