Elliott Smith – XO

You’ve heard of Napster and Friendster – so how about Trendster?  The program where you can comingle with other members of your pathetic sub-culture of choice!

Speaking of which, Elliot Smith’s BACK – from the grave! with a new album of all-new material played with his ghostly fingers and released by his ghostly new major-label, Dreamworks. Good for him!  He’s got a long way to go before he’s Tupac, though.  Tupac?  More like two-Pakis, because that’s what he really was under those thug clothes.  But I bet he hid it pretty well with that negro suit of his, no?  I’m impressed every time I jerk off to his picture.

Ding ding ding!  Elliot’s back, and speaking of just saying offensive things for fun, he sold out with his new label and I hope he DIES within a few years.

Okay, fine, he didn’t really sell out, except in the sense that he wanted more money to do more with his songs.  And guess what?  it’s generally a good thing.  So that’s the one new thing you’ll notice here:  No more simple acoustic guitar and vocals songs anymore (except one).  From that 1:30 point in “Sweet Adeline” when the drums come crashing in you’re set for an album filled with songs led by that ol’ acoustic six string, but filled out with Beach Boys-y choirs, a couple horn arrangements, pianos, organs, drums, whathaveyou.  It’s more “lush” and “arranged” now, you could say.  You can say whatever you like, in fact, but the extra instruments greatly help most of the songs (“Waltz #2” being the best example of this), and helping this out, this is probably Elly’s best collection of snogs yet.  There are more hooks!  Hooks on nearly every song!  ElSee usually doesn’t do that.

He also has more genre-playin’.  “Baby Britain” is pure pop, there are waltzes, a couple angst-a-thons…but a nice, angel-voiced Elliot-y angst-a-thon.  His voice makes everything more tolerable, and it’s here in full force.

So sure, there are songs that don’t work at all with his newfound love of instrumentation, and a couple that are just generally bad (“Bled White” – what is this?), but the pros far outweigh the cons.  It’s almost a low 9, but I’m not feeling generous, because I’m getting tired of reviewing Elliot Smith and Death Cab For Cutie.  Also because it’s 3:00 and it’s looking like I’m not even going to leave my house until this evening, and that’s kinda sad.  XO good.  One time Damon Albarn gave me his autograph and it included “XO” and “with love”.  What do you think he meant by that?

8/10

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