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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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

stan_1978 ,

Elliot Smith

I’m kind of late to the game when it comes to Elliot Smith. Most of his songs are stripped of any instruments letting the song and lyrics speak for itself. One of the standouts here is Needle in the Hay. It’s beautifully written and pulls the listener in. Christian Brother is a great cover of a Heatmiser song. I’m still getting into a lot of his work. Very dark and personal. Great mood music.

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