Review Summary: Nick Drake is more better than this rather dull and unrefined record!
If you bothered to take a flick through the underground, hard to find indie bands, a common occurrence would be the sighting of Elliot Smith! If you're like me (which assumedly, most of you are), you'll wonder who this shadowy man is and do some background research, only to find out he’s heralded as a genius. The amount of praise this enigmatic man gets is beyond belief, nearly as much as Bon Iver! Smith is a superlative lyrical writer, and having grasped the concept of the human linguistic, layers this inconceivable album with some truly great lyrics. There are some real ornaments here dispersed about through every conceivable song from Speed Trials, all the way to the culmination, Say yes. The lyrics are perplexing but profound nevertheless, always painting a representation that you can easily envisage the entire length of the album's duration.
The lyrics have been praised, yet that is nearly all that can be of this rather disappointing record. It's because everything else is dreadful! Mostly Elliot Smith’s voice, could there be a more insufferable, disagreeable, obstructed moan on the face of the planet? Avail to say it, it's a excruciating practice. Not even the best librettos in the world could save a voice like this, and its especially evident when Smith goes for those high notes, the first being in the opening acoustic jam Speed Trials. Although this song has quite a few decent areas, it is surrounded by an aura of mystic awfulness, that ruins this album.
Rebecca Black is not a factor in this vote this time my fellow Sputnik friends. Smith has the worst voice I've ever heard, plain and simple; it's like a normal man who has made passionate love to multiple elephants, and then given birth to Elliot Smith.
He's not the only wrongdoer though, the songs are rather ailing assembled organizationally, in addition that remains after we emanate towards the recording. The production value is quite terrible, to be noxiously honest. This attempt at a concept album is dulled and despaired by two main factors – Smith, and everything else. Overall the album is listenable for a few times, but inevitably Smith’s voice and rather dull acoustic playing (although skilled) becomes and ear-sore for everyone involved.