Elliott Smith
Roman Candle


4.5
superb

Review

by LeMartien USER (2 Reviews)
February 1st, 2010 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A relatively underrated Lo-fi classic.

Let me start with a quote by Kill Rock Stars' founder Slim Moon on the impact Roman Candle made on him;

“In 1994, I had been asked to be on this five-person solo-act tour called Pop Chord with Tammy Watson, Carrie Akre, Sean Croghan and Elliott Smith. The first night at the "Crocodile" in Seattle, I didn't pay too much attention and people talked all thru Elliott's set. Sean Croghan got up next and said "All of you people who just talked through Elliott's set are bummed because you just missed something very very special." The next night of the tour, at "The Bottom of the Hill" in San Francisco, I listened very closely to Elliott's set, and it was basically one of those life-changing moments. Instead of watching the rest of the performers, I went out to the tour van and popped Roman Candle into the player, and listened to it on endless repeat for the rest of the evening and beyond. It completely blew my mind. I have never heard music as heartwrenchingly, gut-checkingly honest, intimate, and wise - before or since.”

...So no wonder why Kill Rock Stars became Smith's next label, which released the two following records, in my opinion his best ones. Anyway, the nine songs on Roman Candle were recorded in a basement by him alone without any intention to release them. That explains why it is by far his most personal album in terms of lyrics, but also the least accessible one (especially for the wider audience). What eventually became the album were his "latest" home-made demos put together by the tiny Portland-based label Cavity Search Records.

Smith's splendid sense of melody and his unique way of fingerpicking are well present here. Take for example the first twenty seconds of "Condor Ave.", a song that he allegedly wrote at the age of 17. Or the closing instrumental, that stands out from his catalogue as something different. It actually sounds like it could be from an old motion picture soundtrack. The opening title-track may be the angriest acoustic song I've ever heard, but at the same time like the rest of the album it manages to be a pleasant listen. All in all, given the circumstances it's a five-star record.

I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I'm lying here waiting for sleep to overtake me



user ratings (609)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Justin Swope (4)
Roman Candle may seem wispy, but closer examination unveils an outstanding songwriter who does not s...

sean q (5)
You don't belong here....

Alex Robertson STAFF (4.5)
...

Jared W. Dillon (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
LeMartien
February 1st 2010


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So it's a bit short, but I decided to left it at that. I will edit it and add a pargraph when the remastered version of it is released (in April). It's apparently supposed to reduce the guitar squeaks and the extremely raw sound of the album... I'm looking forward to it, but not sure if it will actually sound better.

BrandNewBoognish
February 1st 2010


1021 Comments


Murdered by his girlfriend, too young, RIP

SlightlyEpic
February 1st 2010


5780 Comments


last caaaaaaaaall sick of it aaaaaaall

LeMartien
February 1st 2010


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5


Murdered by his girlfriend, too young, RIP

Since there'a no proof of it, I wouldn't post comments like that.

BrandNewBoognish
February 1st 2010


1021 Comments


I can see the Sputnik news headline now:

"Boognish sued by Elliott Smith's girlfriend"

SlightlyEpic
February 1st 2010


5780 Comments


I bet his 'girlfriend' could at least spell his name right >:333

no but for real I blame her too

slut

BrandNewBoognish
February 1st 2010


1021 Comments


Shocking lapse of standards on my part

SlightlyEpic
February 1st 2010


5780 Comments


It's okay, I forgive you

BUT DOES ELLIOTT!?!?

LeMartien
February 1st 2010


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Actually Elliott wasn't his real name anyway, so he could as well spelled it with one T. (like on the alleged 'suicide note')

Anyway, please talk about the MUSIC or the review.

BrandNewBoognish
February 1st 2010


1021 Comments


No let's talk about SlightlyEpic's adorably cute bears

SlightlyEpic
February 1st 2010


5780 Comments


they ARE adorable, aren't they? I want to get my hands on a couple so I can cuddle them every single day :3

SmurkinGherkin
February 1st 2010


1770 Comments


Probssss should get this

BrandNewBoognish
February 1st 2010


1021 Comments


And i could have them at weekends?

LeMartien
February 1st 2010


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Seriously cut the bullshit.

BrandNewBoognish
February 1st 2010


1021 Comments


If i wasn't commenting so much your review wouldn't even be showing up on the front page. I'm bumping
it. You should thank me, instead of acting like a bitch throwing a hissy fit.

Back to the real matter at hand. LeMartien, do you like SlightlyEpic's cuddly bears?

LeMartien
February 1st 2010


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Merci beaucoup lad, but I'd be more thankful if you were 'bumping' it by talking about the review or the album, you see? Would probably create more of a conversation than your cuddly bears aswell.

WatchItExplode
February 1st 2010


3316 Comments


hey is this the cuddly bears thread?

SlightlyEpic
February 1st 2010


5780 Comments


[IMG]http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/askville/6666639_18003460_mywrite/ninjabears.jpg[/IMG]

WatchItExplode
February 1st 2010


3316 Comments


aaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww shucks...reviews even shorter than my attention span but elliott's cool

LeMartien
February 1st 2010


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The question is... did you even read that short review?



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