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Elliott Smith - Either/Or
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Release: 1997

Tracklisting:
Speed Trials
Alameda
Ballad of Big Nothing
Between the Bars
Picture of Me
No Name #5
Rose Parade
Punch and Judy
Angeles
Cupid's Trick
2:45 AM
Say Yes
Either/Or - Elliott Smith
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Average Blamo User Rating: (66 votes)

When any one says Elliott Smith I immediately think of this album. Usually reviews are written based on facts sounds and flow of music. Well when it comes to Elliott and Either/Or the flow and the sounds are perfect. This review is more emotional based. Elliott had amazing talent and amazing joy in writing his music. Every song on this cd can caputre you up and make you dance around the room. Some of the songs on here can be depressing but its all based on the context that you put the song in. Persoanlly I have always used Either/Or to help make me smile or sing when I was depressed. Elliott Smith was a very amazing writer some of his songs have made people all over the world happy. He was an amazing person and this album is an amazing tribute to the man that he was, a man that he always will be. Some of the highlights of this CD are "Speed Trials" "Between the Bars" "Angeles" and "Say Yes". Just because these are the highlights of the album doesnt mean that all the rest arent wonderfull songs. Infact I can honestly tell you that There is not a song on here that is not wonderful. Elliott you will be deeply missed.

-Amanda
10-24-03

Reviewer Rating of CD :

There once was a man, no fuck that, way too cliché. It is often difficult to review the work of a dead man. Many will give out good ratings based solely on the fact that the artist is dead rather than actually review the work at hand. Even when the work is suburb, as it is in this case, it will still be perceived that way. With this warning in mind, lets continue.

     Getting his foot in the door with his band Heatmiser, Elliott Smith would later go on to a critically hailed yet commercially ignored solo career. Creative lyrics, a beautiful voice, and above average guitar work marked his 5 releases. Known to be a depressed drug abuser, his tracks were often littered with two perceptions. At any given moment he could seem angry at a significant other and then on another song he would seem depressed or even apologetic. This confusion added many layers to his music and is perhaps is the key to his signature style.

     In the mid to late 90’s Elliott achieved what would be the most commercial attention he would ever receive by penning ‘Miss Misery’ amongst other songs for the Good Will Hunting soundtrack and become nominated for various awards. After, he would delve back into obscurity and release more brilliant work.

     The songs found on Either/Or all have their moments, and in general, all of them range from good to excellent. Among the best are his songs that deal with the ups and downs of love. ‘Alameda’ with it’s perfect melody line and very well-written lyrics kicks the album to a start after ‘Speed Trials’ which is great in itself but not a very good opening song in my opinion. On ‘Ballad of Big Nothing’ Elliot takes an insanely pop-influenced chorus and turns it into an excellent song. The only complaint about the album is that sometimes the choruses can become tiring when they are repeated tirelessly. Such is the case in ‘Alameda’ which, as mentioned before is a great song, but it simply lasts too long with Elliott repeating the chorus over and over again instead of adding a new verse which would’ve done the song justice. ‘Pictures of Me’ is probably the albums weakest point, yet still has it’s moments. It is also another song that suffers from chorus problems. The chorus is weak to begin with and as in the case of ‘Alameda’ is repeated one too many times.

     The albums musical arrangements make it a lot more interesting. While Elliott was not the most technically proficient guitar player in the industry he was simply an ace for melody and multi-track recordings of his guitar work.

     Elliott ends the album with the brilliant ‘Say Yes’ which also happens to be my favourite song of his. During the first verse he sings ‘it’s always been wait and see, a happy day and then you pay, and feel like shit the morning after,’ a comment that almost anyone can relate to at any moment. However, this type of turmoil must’ve been an everyday thing for Elliott in his last days with his constant drug use and many problems with his girlfriend.

     However, regardless of what caused Elliott to take his own life that day, we still lost a very great musician. Elliott Smith was one of the most creative and enjoyable artists of our times and it’s doubtful that we’ll ever hear another that will even come close to his level of portraying emotion through music. Rest in Peace Elliott, we miss you.


Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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