top of page

Elliott Smith

by Elliott Smith

Released July 21, 1995 via Kill Rock Stars

Reviewed July 30, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
St. Ides Heaven (33%), Needle In The Hay (28%), Alphabet Town (22%)

Elliott Smith’s sophomore effort shows the power that music has, even when stripped down to its basics. With just his vocals and an acoustic guitar, Smith managed to capture some of the most intricate stories of trauma ever put to tape. He presents these narratives with a whisper-like approach that reflects his unease of the world around him, perfectly matching the stories of dying love, the need to escape through substances, and inner self doubt. It’s like a therapy session in an album, an experience that’s so intimate that it becomes an obsession to revisit when you need someone. – Jared (9.5/10)

Elliott Smith’s sophomore effort takes listeners to the darkest abysses that minimalism can offer. Going the route of simplicity, these recordings see the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist using his guitar as the sole complement to his gentle, sorrowful voice. That being said, Smith’s guitar work is more than enough to create a robust and unique sound with melodies that are as ominous as they are hummable. There is no similar sense of duality when it comes to Smith’s songwriting, though, as you would struggle greatly to find a darker and more deeply personable record than his self-titled work. Plagued by drug abuse and mental illness throughout his life, Smith’s deep-seated pain shines through with every lyric, marking the biggest characteristic of what not only made this record so fantastic, but what made him one of indie folk’s greatest pioneers. – Dominick (9/10)

Victoria: 10/10 | Enth: 9.5/10 | Cam: 9/10 | Jared: 9/10 | Hadley: 9/10

DeVán: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8.5/10


bottom of page