Elliott Smith
Either/Or


5.0
classic

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
January 17th, 2005 | 1587 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Elliott Smith - Either/Or

Elliott Smith is arguably the best solo Acoustic Alternative artist of the last 10 years. What seperates Elliott from his peers (Damien Rice, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake etc) is his extremely obvious Beatles and Beach Boys influence. Elliot could sing some pretty high notes and his harmonies were great. He played acoustic guitar very well, and there was just something about his voice. I can't quite pick up what it was, but there was definitely something about it.
Elliott's first big project was the soundtrack to the film "Good Will Hunting". The soundtrack features some of the tracks off here.
Unfortunatly, Elliott was found dead in 2003, from self inflicted stab wounds. Hopefully, his music will stand the test of time, it's certainly good enough. Elliott had a great ear for a 3 minute pop song. He knew what he could do and what he couldn't do. When he did what he was good at, the results were amazing.

R.I.P.
http://www.hiponline.com/artist/musi...liottsmith.jpg


Speed Trials - The song starts out with a slightly creepy guitar riff, then Elliott's vocals come in along with a cool drum beat that is played on a snare (without the snare things). The song builds up gradually. Elliott's emotional and highish vocals are very, very good in here. His voice sounds really special, I don't know how else to describe it.
4.5/5

Alameda - A wonderful song, starts out with another slightly creepy riff and then Elliott's vocals come in, along with some quiet backing vocals. The chorus is a nice melody and acoustic and light drumming work well together. A bit into the song, a nice little soloish thing comes in, very nice. The song just continues like normal into the end with a guitar and organ outro.
4/5

Ballad Of Big Nothing - The song gets straight into it. The acoustic guiatr and vocals come in with a pleasant melody until the chorus starts, very pretty sounding with some nice cymbal work from the drummer. The lyrics to this song are also lovely, although it is a little short. It would be nice if it had gone longer, but that's really my only criticism.
4/5

Between The Bars - This song is a little less happy than the last 3 songs. The acoustic guitar in it is very nice. Once the chorus kicks in, you're nearly in heaven, Elliott's high notes on his vocals are superb. The lyrics to this song are also very nice. Elliott and his guitar are the only things in this song and he pulls off a nice sound. If you like this song, see if you can get the orchestral version, featured on Good Will Hunting.
5/5

Pictures Of Me - The poppiest song on the album is also one of the best. Great rhythms between the guitar, drums and organs. The lyrics to it are really great as well. The song sets a nice mood as well. The second verse also has a very good use of an "f" word. Not something that a lot of people manage to pull off. This is probably the album's loudest song, and it's very good. The bass work is also very classy. This is also the album's longest song (3:47).
5/5

No Name #5 - Probably the album's most depressing song. The whole sound of it is really pretty dismal, but it's good. The drumming is very effective and the other instrumentation is also great. The vocals are nice, but nothing on here is really as good as the other tracks. On it's own though, this is a great song.
3.8/5

Rose Parade - Another pretty poppy song. The acoustic guitar is cool along with the little acoustic lead part that is added. The coolest part of the song is the build to the chorus. The lyrics are pretty simple, but quite nice. The chorus is a good one as well, with simple lyrics "Won't you follow me down to the rose parade". Overall, a very nice song, that has a happy feel.
4.5/5

Punch and Judy - In my opinion, this song is the most Beach Boys influenced out of all of them. The opening vocal parts sound like they could have come straight out of the mouth of Brian Wilson. However, the rest of the song is all that happy, it's pretty laid back and slightly depressing. Good guitar and drum parts in here, but Elliott's voice is really where the song shines.
4/5

Angeles - This song is simply amazing. Easily the best song on the album. The lyrics are amazing and Elliott's voice is filled with emotion and he sings beautifully. An organ comes in part way into the song and Elliott sings a simple "uh huh" line. Amazing. The best part lyrically in when he sings the line "No one's gonna a fool around with us". This song is one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard.

Cupid's Trick - Quite an eerie song, it sounds like a few things off Jeff Buckley's "Grace" or possibly even a few Radiohead songs. The lyrics are quite good and same with the vocals but the best part are the little lead melodies on the guitar. I think this is one of the lower points of the album, but it's still a very good song.
4/5

2:45 AM - Such a beautiful song. My tied favourite song off this record. The melodies are wonderful and Elliott's voice is amazing. The song itself is extremely simple, but Elliott's brilliance lies in his simplicity. The drums come in later and are very pretty.
5/5

Say Yes - My third tied favourite. A wonderful song, the melodies are simply amazing. Elliott's vocals are wonderful, especially his high parts. A very Beatles sounding song with wonderful harmonies. Probably the most Beatles influeced of the record. The song is just amazing, both musically and lyrically. A perfect album closer.
5/5

This record is amazing, one of the best I've ever heard. The melodies, instrumentation, vocals and emotional qualities are just wonderful. My only real critisicm is that it's extremely short...coming in at about 37 minutes. THere are small problems throught, but this record is just amazing.

FINAL RATING: 4.85/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Vive La Rock
March 20th 2005


2 Comments


I have to agree. I tend to enjoy Angeles the most aswell, followed closely by Between the Bars, 2:45, Alameda, Say Yes, Pictures Of Me. Hell, I like all of them. Thanks for reviewing. If I were reviewing though, I'd give them all 5 stars, but what can I say... I get attached easily. =)

woofwoofwoof
July 15th 2005


156 Comments


sayesisperfeccct

TheBurntOrange
August 14th 2005


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is my favorite elliott smith album

Iai
Emeritus
August 14th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like Angeles is easily the best on the album, yet Say Yes and 2.45 am are joint favourites. :p

br3ad_man
Emeritus
August 15th 2005


2125 Comments


I wish I could listen to this album like I used to be able to.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 20th 2006


721 Comments


The Beach Boys influence is pretty abundant here, especially in his voice and the melodies. A really solid album.

Mathroll
August 9th 2006


1 Comments


Elliot Smith Rocks ,I listen to his music everyday and I'll never get bored of it . PEace

_Mote_
November 22nd 2006


33 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

R.I.P. Elliott, your music kept me sane, even if it led to your demise .

Sepstrup
November 29th 2006


1564 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This might be a 5/5... Not decided yet.

Doppelganger
February 22nd 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I almost got this but instead I picked out Post-War by M. Ward.

*smacks forehead*

MrKite
May 21st 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Should I get this to start off with Elliott?

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 22nd 2007


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Angeles is my favorite.

Sepstrup
May 22nd 2007


1564 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Should I get this to start off with Elliott?


Yes

bdizfoshiz
May 22nd 2007


273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is probably Elliott's best, this or XO, so if you're just a new fan of Elliott, this album is a great way to start. Every song is great on this album and you can definitely see the sincerity of his songwriting and playing.

jrowa001
May 23rd 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i guess it takes more than one listen to get into this album cuz the first time i heard it i thought it was boring, than the second time i randomly decided to give it a shot and im glad i did. its simply a beautiful album. this same story happened to me with nick drake, i guess thats how things work. im planning on getting his other albums soon

MrKite
May 25th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Angeles is so freaking good. I can't wait to get this.

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 28th 2007


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh elliott if I touch you you'll break.

Amazing album, the melodies and odd time patterns grow on you and the lyrics are great, in particular. Small misses here and there, though.

Between the Bars and Alameda are the most prominent now.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2007


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can go to the library and buy this for a dollar

i wonder if i should

MrKite
June 16th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 16th 2007


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Buy it.



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