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Elliott Smith's tragic death in 2003 left a gaping wound in the indie rock community. There weren't many singer/songwriter/producers around who could make music so raw and honest, so personal and universal, that it could touch you no matter how it was presented. Just Smith and a four-track in his bedroom or sitting behind the piano at Abbey Road, it didn't matter. His songs meant a lot to a lot of people and his records have become treasured parts of people's lives. This collection gathers up songs from throughout his career, taking tracks from each of Smith's albums and the two posthumous compilations that were released. The songs are extremely well chosen and give a glimpse of Smith both as a harrowingly honest writer and an amazingly gifted creator of memorable pop songs. It's a fine starting point for someone looking to discover Smith, but even if you have all his albums, it serves as a greatest-hits collection of sorts and only confirms just how awful not having him here truly is.
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An Introduction to Elliott Smith based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
When most music fans think of Elliott Smith, they think of him as the musician whose songs made Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting" a great film. Or you may think of Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tannenbaums", where Smith's "Needle in the Hay" was used during a suicide attempt scene, which is all the more haunting considering the fact that in 2004, Smith died in a still-debatable suicide. What is not debated, however, is what a unique and reluctant talent Smith was. For those coming late to Smith's music, they may want to check out "An Introduction To Elliott Smith", a much-belated anthology that covers all of Smith's albums. These low-fi, bare-boned recordings (some of which were recorded in Smith's home) have the fragile beauty and ennui of Big Star at its most emotional. Indeed, Smith sings in a high-pitched Chris Bell voice on "The Ballad Of Big Nothing" and yet, he also manages to sing like a disaffected Alex Chilton on "Pictures Of Me". The standout song here is "Needle in the Hay", Smith's flinty, lonely vocal is striking, even if you've never seen "The Royal Tannenbaums". Although all of Smith's individual albums are worth checking out, particularly "Either/Or" and "From A Basement On The Hill", this impressive compilation contains the best moments from those albums and more.