Elliott Smith
Either/Or


5.0
classic

Review

by Tayloooooor USER (1 Reviews)
February 17th, 2012 | 34 replies | 3,186 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm all over it.

Elliott Smith has been a relatively recent musical discovery for myself. I remember looking through a copy of NME in my first year at university sat in a friend's room. It featured a special on him and the guy sat at his desk was adamant that I had to listen to this album in particular. Cue the best tip i've ever had. I mean this guy's music has single handedly turned me on to so many other artists it's crazy. He's also had one of the most messed up lives of any musicians I've come across, but, what Smith did fantastically was turn all of this into some of the most impressive stripped down acoustic music to have been recorded.

The best thing about Either/Or. for me, is the whole toned down production side of his music. There's an intimacy there which works perfectly with his whispery voice and acoustic guitar being reinforced, not by any showy solos or thumping bass drum, but by restrained musicians who allow Smith's lyrics and vocal delivery to be at the forefront of everything that you're hearing. It's either a fantastic example of democracy in music or Smith was a massive musical facist. He'd later go on to add more of a "big band" element to his music but I have always thought that, had he used more electric instruments on this album, it would have translated poorly.

Everything else aside, Elliott Smith could play the crap out of the guitar. Sure, most of the album's pretty simple progressions but I defy the "playing guitar is my party trick" kinda guys to pick up the guitar and play Angeles first time. Being able to finger pick that song alone is impressive, singing and playing? Forget about it. Then, two tracks later, you get "2:45" which is one of the simplest songs ever commited to a fretboard. If Smith could have been as restrained with the booze and drugs then his life could have been a totally different story.

If anyone ever asks me where to start with ES, I always say this is the place. Either/Or is the jewel in the crown in what is one of the most solid folk/acoustic discographies in music. Elliott finds a way to tie in his almost breakable voice, immense song writing talent and all the *** which preceded this album into something which has defined his career. It's just one of those that needs to be in a CD collection, simple as.


user ratings (1378)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012



14884 Comments


this is a great album but something is holding me back from considering any of smith's albums bona fide classics

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2012



6958 Comments


yeah, s/t comes closest though

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012



9994 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i think your mom dropped you at an infant age alex

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012



14884 Comments


i think xo is closest

then this, then s/t? i guess

jefflebowski
February 16th 2012



6841 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah XO just edges this i think

NeutralThunder12
February 16th 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

s/t is his best, and it always floats between a 4.5 and 5 for me

roman candle and xo are tied, and i find this overrated

Fantamouse
February 16th 2012



56 Comments


I agree

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2012



9994 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

one of these days i'm going to review the rest of this discography and my life work's will be complete

NeutralThunder12
February 16th 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

elliott was a beautiful man

fsharptrit0ne
February 16th 2012



4628 Comments


wow neut

NeutralThunder12
February 16th 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh hush

ApplicationToHeaven
February 16th 2012



1550 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is probably the most subtle

Maniac!
February 16th 2012



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

doesn't noodle enough for neut

NeutralThunder12
February 16th 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no it doesnt have enough good songs for neut, self titled and xo slay dis

ApplicationToHeaven
February 16th 2012



1550 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

every song is fantastic on this, and angeles, rose parade, say yes and 2:45 are some of his best

Maniac!
February 16th 2012



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

XO > S/T =E/O > RC


all classics

NeutralThunder12
February 16th 2012



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okay

DarthMann
February 16th 2012



13467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

he saw the devil in his bed, with his loverr

wacknizzle
February 16th 2012



11909 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Every song on this album is great but the production is terrible just like Roman Candle and S/T. I love it but his hand sliding on the strings is like figernails on a chalkboard. Every album after this is so much easier to listen to than this. Figure 8 is probably my favorite.

Digging: Fall of Efrafa - Inle

Enotron
February 16th 2012



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

< 3



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy