12 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Elliott Smith’s 1995 sophomore effort hews fairly close to his debut Roman Candle, there’s a subtle refinement in both lyrics and the hypnotic, subtly obtuse musical structures he hangs them on here as well. Smith’s songs often revolve around familiar themes of despair, isolation and/or dependencies both chemical and spiritual. “Clementine,” “Needle in the Hay,” and “The White Lady Loves You More” nonetheless shine with an irresistible energy — dark tales spun with unlikely brightness. His palette may be small, often little more than a wisp of a voice backed by his delicately insistent acoustic guitar, but his vision — and potential — seems boundless. Irony may have been the ‘90s most tired artistic conceit, but here Smith deftly underplays it like a master.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Elliott Smith’s 1995 sophomore effort hews fairly close to his debut Roman Candle, there’s a subtle refinement in both lyrics and the hypnotic, subtly obtuse musical structures he hangs them on here as well. Smith’s songs often revolve around familiar themes of despair, isolation and/or dependencies both chemical and spiritual. “Clementine,” “Needle in the Hay,” and “The White Lady Loves You More” nonetheless shine with an irresistible energy — dark tales spun with unlikely brightness. His palette may be small, often little more than a wisp of a voice backed by his delicately insistent acoustic guitar, but his vision — and potential — seems boundless. Irony may have been the ‘90s most tired artistic conceit, but here Smith deftly underplays it like a master.

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