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Album Review

A year before his major-label debut, XO, was released, it seemed unlikely that Elliott Smith would even be on a major, let alone having his record be one of the more anticipated releases of 1998. He had certainly earned a great deal of critical respect with his low-key, acoustic indie records and was emerging as a respected songwriter, but he hadn't made much of an impression outside of journalists, record collectors, and indie rockers. An Oscar nomination can change things, however. "Miss Misery," one of Smith's elegantly elegiac songs for Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting, unexpectedly earned an Academy Award nomination, and he was immediately thrust into the spotlight. He was reluctant to embrace instant celebrity, yet he didn't refuse a contract with DreamWorks, and he didn't shy away from turning XO into a glorious fruition of his talents. Smith's songs remain intensely introspective, yet the lush, Beatlesque production provides a terrifically charming counterpoint. His sweetly dark melodies are vividly brought to life with the detailed arrangements, and they sell Smith's tormented songs — it's easy to get caught up in the tunes and the sound of the record, then realize later what the songs are actually about. That's a sign of a good craftsman, and XO proves that not only can Elliott Smith craft a song, but he knows how to make an alluring pop record as well.

Customer Reviews

Fine Wine

I bought Xo when it was first released on the strength of a rave review but for some reason, I didn't get into it. It languished in my collection, unplayed for years, until for some other unknown reason, I put it on again. This is a great albulm, particularly if you're into the Beatles. Like fine wine, it improves with age. Drink it now.

Amazing

One of my favourite albums of all time. Honestly, just give it a listen and you'll know why.

Put on your headphones and tun this up loud!

One of the finest albums ever made of this genre, it was the last introspective, followed by fugure 8 which was Elliott's only attempt at mainstream pop, Beatles inspired, it too is a brilliant album and what is outstanding about both these albums is the song list order, and that is what a great album is all about, it's brilliant in it's whole as are the individual tracks. An absolute must have!!! P.S Either or is eaqually as good, unforgettable and timeless.

Biography

Born: 06 August 1969 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The celebrated folk-punk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith rose from indie obscurity to mainstream success in 1997 on the strength of "Miss Misery," his Academy Award-nominated song from the film Good Will Hunting. A native of Portland, OR, Smith began writing and recording his first songs at age 14, later becoming a fixture of the city's thriving music scene. As a member of the band Heatmiser, he debuted in 1993 with the LP Dead Air, issuing his first solo effort Roman Candle on the tiny Cavity Search...
Full Bio