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Either / Or

Elliott Smith

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Album Review

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."

Customer Reviews

胸に染みる

とても繊細な楽曲たち。一番Elliott Smithの魂を感じられるアルバムかも。本当に良いアルバムです。

優しい

電子音が主流になっている今の時代こそ聴いて欲しい
ギターとドラムと声だけ それだけなのに物凄く心が揺さぶられる 優しくて切ない 何かを悟ったような気だるい声
私はこのアルバムを聴きながら死にたい それだけ心を鷲掴みにされたアルバムである

奥深い楽曲

音楽というのはスペル(魔法、まじない)だから歌詞も含めて聞き込んで楽しむということもできる。
聴き心地のいい繊細で美しいメロディーとは対照的な一人称スタイルの歌詞が印象的だ。
ローファイなサウンドスケープでノスタルジーを上手く演出して表現している♪ (^-^)b
ただ、メロディも歌詞も「悲しみ」がある。
悲しみの本質がわからないナ...

Biography

Born: August 6, 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