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Old 08-06-2007, 01:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Elliott Smith "From a Basement on the Hill"

Since its his birthday i'm going to try and review his whole discography throughout the week.

Elliott Smith "From a Basement on the Hill"


Label: ANTI- Records
Release Date: October 19, 2004
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Tracklist:
1. Coast To Coast
2. Let's Get Lost
3. Pretty (Ugly Before)
4. Don't Go Down
5. Strung Out Again
6. A Fond Farewell
7. King's Crossing
8. Ostrich & Chirping
9. Twilight
10. A Passing Feeling
11. The Last Hour
12. Shooting Star
13. Memory Lane
14. Little One
15. A Distorted Reality Is Now a Necessity to Be Free


Oh, the ever controversial post-humus release. However unlike most, most people don't know that Elliott had nothing to do with this album aside from the songs themselves and with his past efforts you know he can assemble and put together albums very well. Sadly, this isn't the case here what were left with is a inconsistent, and mediocre album full of amazing songs.

Now the album itself despite its flaws is some of his greatest work. It holds all his classic melancholic and laid back folk songs such as Twilight and holds some of his most experimental songs like Shooting Star, though the balance between them is poor. The albums lyrics on paper for the most part may seem cliche, but the way he delivers them is amazing and knowing hes no longer living makes songs like King's Crossing dealing with drug abuse and suicide spine-chilling.

It sounds weird to say this album is medicore but the songs are amazing, but its true. Alot of the songs seemed rip from the studio in the middle of production, straight to CD, tape hiss and all. While some appeared to be completely polished and finished. Now if this was a two disc album like Elliott had intended it probably could've been pulled off better, but the balance between the two is uneven and the songs, from the ones that were picked weren't lined up very well going from one of his most laid-back tunes like A Fond Farewell to one of his most experimental songs King's Crossing. Now some would say "Well isn't it better to just leave the material alone and not alter it?", well yes but some of these songs the tape hiss gets kind of annoying and with the recent release of New Moon, you have to wonder how much better this hand could've been in the hand of others. I mean Ostriches & Chirping, (a song that is just that) had nothing to do with Elliott it was something David McConnell (who'd been working with Elliott on his last album) did on his own and completely forgot was on the tape reels, yet it ended up on the album.

So what were left with is some of the best work by one of the most innovative musicians of our time on what sounds like an poorly assembled compilation put together by an amateur producer. However despite the albums flaws, it can still hold its place in Elliotts lengthy prolific body of work.

Rating: 6.5/10
Recommended Songs: Twilight, King's Crossing, Let's Get Lost, Shooting Star, Memory Lane
Download Link: hxxp://www.mediafire.com/?a9dbyjfnm2m
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ostrich & Chirping is kinda cute.
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Last Hour is the saddest song on the album imo.
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