Elliott Smith
Either/Or


5.0
classic

Review

by Axiomatic USER (2 Reviews)
July 29th, 2013 | 14 replies | 810 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

I first listened to this album in some art museum in London. I didn't get it. No one ever mentioned Elliott Smith to me in person before I listened to it; I simply happened upon it on the internet, and albums heralded as "classic" always catch my eye. Most of the time, I'm convinced this happens for the wrong reasons. I think it's an obsession more than anything, an addiction to the massively arbitrary labeling of a work of art as great, generational, and seminal. I listened for a minute or two and, well, I remember noticing only the surprisingly wispy drums. That was it. I turned it off. But sometimes preliminarily sudden disappointment is the mark of an uncomfortable and aching genesis.

Another thing I'm convinced of is that the feeling of "oneness" that Eastern religions attribute to a common link among man is really a pathological tickling of some anthropomorphic tendency we all have, deep down, to feel swept away by something we feel to be amazing, and we lose ourselves. I probably realized this before I listened to Either/Or by Elliott Smith for the first time. The thing that I'll never understand, though, is how certain works of art, sometimes dressed in a costume of vibrations in the air emanating from a papery guitar and excruciatingly wistful voice, set off a sensory bomb in our minds, and our bodies, and give us a spiritual binge on the world around us.

When I arrived back at Either/Or with a slightly different approach, I did so with that infantile curiosity that urges a person to reexamine and rethink, and re-approach in a manner as physical as it is mental. Something about those drums, maybe. Or that sad, harrowing voice, scratching the black chalkboard behind the wall of my ears. I don't really know. But I listened again. And this time, I listened through the entire thing. And it was done. I had managed to click a dark, sepia film over my eyes and ears, and I saw the music in a way I've never seen or heard anything else. I was imbibed with the fury of a knockout punch, weighed down by the force of a million tons, held in the cavernous grasp of the bottom of the ocean. And once it was over I was let go very gently, and allowed to float back to the surface. But only after.

Every time I listen, I sail through Speed Trials with that same curiosity, with a feeling that I'll never get any of my questions answered regarding the late Elliott Smith. And by the end, I feel like I just get it. This album is not one to approach with technical, or even musical, expectations. Let it twist you up and break you into one thousand pieces, only to be put back together.


user ratings (1455)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
larrytheslug
July 29th 2013



1315 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

review comes off as very pretentious, but correct rating ;)

tommygun
July 29th 2013



23588 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

swee album

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"review comes off as very pretentious"

"I first listened to this album in some art museum in London.

so pretentious he can't even be bothered to remember the name of the museum

Gwyn.
July 29th 2013



14896 Comments


best album

Digging: Grief - Come to Grief

tommygun
July 29th 2013



23588 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

drink up bb

jtswope
July 29th 2013



1864 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Classic for sure

Arnaud
July 29th 2013



160 Comments


Good review. I recognize some of my reactions to music which I have high expectations for, but for
this album, it was automatically a winner.

pos'd

Axiomatic
July 29th 2013



14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i honestly don't remember the name of the museum ;)

seriously, this is that one album for me that always causes that "feeling." i think we all get it sometimes. i wasn't trying to be pretentious, i just wanted to convey the way the album makes me feel every time i listen to it

larrytheslug
July 29th 2013



1315 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i mean, its a cool read to other people that adore this album too, but its not much more than that. there's not really any point where you actually are reviewing something about the album.
i hafta give props to your grandiose vocabulary tho.

Axiomatic
July 29th 2013



14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i guess there's not too much to say, and that's the point, but thanks brotha

InbredJed
July 29th 2013



5612 Comments


Cool review.

So what does it sound like?

Chortles
July 29th 2013



17908 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

life

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

demigod!
July 29th 2013



43888 Comments


shuffling your deck of trick cards

Digging: Black Flag - My War

InbredJed
July 29th 2013



5612 Comments


Demi, never change that av bro



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