Either/Or

by Elliott Smith

Released February 25, 1997 via Kill Rock Stars

Reviewed February 23, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Between the Bars (51%), Angeles (46%), Say Yes (46%)

Elliott Smith was a once in a lifetime performer, with stories so achingly detailed that it is hard to imagine a world without his music. The way he breaks down everyday occurrences and manages to pull out every string of emotional resonance is still to this day unmatched. With his gentle finger picking style backing these stories, he creates a landscape of sorrow and longing for a world that should be much brighter. – Jared (10/10)


His voice never reaches more than a dull roar, but Elliott Smith has never needed more. What became his greatest commercial success—which also might be his best—Either/Or is just another reason why his voice echoes on years after his passing. The songwriting ranges from tender to downright bleak, but Smith's presence on a track could never waver. His signature double-backed vocals create such an insular feeling; a whisper within the deepest part of yourself. Nick Drake and Elliott Smith are two leaves on the same branch: Tender souls gone too soon. I miss them both dearly. – Ben (Synth) (9/10)


The centerpiece to Elliott Smith's discography comes at a point in which his music was gaining commercial attention. “Between the Bars,” “Angeles,” and “Say Yes” all appear on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack garnering eyes and ears from afar. Either/Or is a superb representation of Smith’s signature guitar style—jangly, yet free-flowing. His chord patterns and progressions always throw up interesting dynamics. Finding the right step forward to fulfill shifts in mood comes with ease to Smith. This facet of his musicianship is something that's easy to overlook, however further investigation reveals mastery. Ghostly vocals ooze with shades of sorrow, adding a layer of angst and despair on top. Smith is something of a standalone figure in the music world; both figuratively and literally, Either/Or being a solid choice for his finest work. – Peter (8.5/10)


Jared: 10/10 | Ben (Synth): 9/10 | Cam: 9/10 | Hadley: 9/10 | Pax: 9/10

Dominick: 8.7/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8.5/10