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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Either Or

Elliott Smith

1997

Either Or

Album Summary

Either/Or is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith. Either/Or was recorded in several locations, mostly in Portland, Oregon – while Smith was still a member of Heatmiser – and was produced by Smith, Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf. Either/Or was released on February 25, 1997, on the Kill Rock Stars record label, following Heatmiser's dissolution. Book-ended by its two singles, "Speed Trials" and "Ballad of Big Nothing", Either/Or did not chart in the US, but was acclaimed by critics. Director Gus Van Sant was highly impressed with the album, incorporating three of its songs; "Between the Bars", "Angeles" and "Say Yes" along with a new song, "Miss Misery", into the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. "Miss Misery" was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1998 Academy Awards, and was performed at the televised ceremony in an abridged version by Smith, backed by the house orchestra, briefly propelling him into the international spotlight. In 2020, the album was ranked at 216 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.37

Votes

5439

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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View Author
Sun May 16 2021
5

It's hard to find new things to say about this utter classic. Its bleak, past-midnight quality is never oppressive, thanks to clever wordplay and Smith's understated musicianship. For all its influence, it's a modest album - standouts "Angeles" and "Between the Bars" are deceptively simple, and "Say Yes" balances mournful and hopeful so well it makes you want to play it on repeat. Even louder, more aggressive songs like "Cupid's Trick" make sense in context. One of the best records of the 90s.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

A couple of clear Heatmiser castaways here; Elliott really never traveled down that path again with the bigger studio budgets for his major label works. Had "Miss Misery" been able to make the record, it would be the complete apex of his early career. Still, a stunning work that makes you ache to still have him with us.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Surprisingly, this supremely technologically advanced website didn’t save my review of Raw Power, so here’s that one: Really uncomfortable with how Iggy sings the word “penetration” as if it includes my name. But yeah, otherwise, this album sounds like it was recorded in a garbage can in the best possible way. As for “Either Or,” well… I’ll just say that when I was in grad school I was a student teacher for a bunch of freshmen taking a required writing class that most had absolutely zero interest in taking. I had no clue what the fuck I was doing, but I know for a fact that I turned at least two students on to Elliott Smith by making the class write about a song from “XO.” So I did my part to make the world a better place. I hope those students are somewhere in Ohio feeling sad right now about being adults, listening to Elliott Smith just to cope. As it should be.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

I’ve loved a lot off this album for a long time. It really touches on the inner sadness of humanity. It’s really a shame he passed and couldn’t make more music. I love this album and will definitely listen again many times.

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Some of the greatest songwriting ever. Elliot's style is so unique, intimate, passionate, vulnerable, and engaging. I will learn guitar, because of this record.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

Oh yeah. I know this one already. He was already dead before I discovered him, so I didn't get the "loss" part of this firsthand, but listening to this makes me feel for him, a little sad for what he must have wrestled with. The production is so intimate and unique. Multitracking vocals, the mic is practically in his mouth. The snare drum feels like a millimeter from your eardrum, the guitar's next to you on the couch, but the cymbals are out in the backyard. You can hear how he's influenced Beck, PortugalThaMan, of course Ásgeir Trausti, even Olivia Rodrigo. If you dig this guy but hadn't heard of him before... keep listening to XO and self-titled. And don't miss Mic City Sons from his previous band, Heatmiser.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
5

Poetic

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

I had this on repeat for two days. It is right up my alley

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

Easily one of the best records of the 90s

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Sublime

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Awesome new discovery for me! His voice gives me the chills, guitar is simple but really powerful. Until now I had only known "Angeles" without knowing it was Elliott Smith. Definitely a great album and great addition to my repertoire.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

literally woke up with say yes stuck in my head this morning. A++++

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Una preciosidad de disco. La voz, las melodías, ese ligero sonido LoFi combinado con arreglos intrincados.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

love this album! So sad but his voice is beautiful.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
5

I first listened to this album in 2004 when a member of the cross country team, Grant Hepler, recommended it to me. It quickly became my favorite 'sad' album and I listened to this like, 5 times straight when Lauren Dickerson (a Senior) was going to ask me to prom but some stupid ass Mormon kid asked her while I was in Florida visiting friends. She ended up banging Matt Dara who was honestly a very cool and nice senior who invited me to a lot of shit when I first moved back to NJ. Unfortunately he later developed a pretty bad opioid addiction after fucking up his back deadlifting. Good album though

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Listened to it twice. It was that good!

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Thu Mar 11 2021
5

♥️

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Sun Mar 28 2021
5

indie love this album and elliot he do be a cool gentleman 4.7/5

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

One of the all-time great sad albums. Between the bars gets me every time... Elliott was a poet and his voice is incredible. The mixing of the acoustic guitar is also excellent throughout the album. A total classic

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

I had to wait until an appropriately gray day to listen to this because Elliott Smith is not sunny day music. I only ever had Figure 8, but thank goodness this album is on the list because it reminded me how much I enjoy wallowing in his music. He is like the male Aimee Mann to me, not quite folk but folk adjacent, not the biggest voice/range but super emotive, distressed in the best way like soft jeans.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

Heatmiser's 'Half Right' was on a mix CD a friend made for me titled "Music to Slit Your Wrists To". It was track number three. I was fortunate enough to see ES at the Henry Fonda theatre just before he died. It wasn't a great show, even sad watching him stand up on stage and forget the lyrics to his own songs. A couple of months later, on the way to work, driving up Topanga Canyon, KCRW played continuous ES one-after-another and another for most of the drive until there was a break. Nic Hartcourt came on and said Elliott Smith was found dead in his Silverlake apartment, just on the other side of town a few hours earlier. I pulled over. Until receiving "Music to Slit Your Wrists To" I hadn't considered how truly sad Elliot Smith and his music was. That stuff is kinda just glossed over, or was... Everyone was sad in the 90's early 2000's but just accepted as normal life where depression hid in plain sight and nobody recognized it as something to pay attention to. For a lot of people, myself included, the music of ES provided a place to go and hide and be enveloped by unobjectionable solitude. Kind of like a place of rest, stagnation and complacency. Either / Or got a huge boost from Good Will Hunting and rightfully so, Elliott Smith's music complemented Will Hunting's loneliness perfectly. I listened constantly and bought most anything he released without hesitation, my favorite song, No Name No. 5 is on this album. I still love it though I hadn't listened all the way though in probably 15 years. I have a reluctance for change which may be why I liked ES so much. Three years after the new millennium closed the death of Elliot Smith ended the 90's for me. No Name No. 5, the heavy drop-d tuned song still sparkles dimly in my imagination as an artifact of a life with an errant existence and no place to be.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

Now this is interesting. Somehow, even though it is far from a love letter, this album captures everything I love about cities, particularly Los Angeles. The raspy, vagabond delivery here tells me that this is an authentic cut, and digging into his story confirms that suspicion, excellent album.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

I really liked this. Very intimate and subdued, but that didn't stop it from dragging me along and making me feel like I am walking the cracked pavement streets of LA.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

<3 Elliott Smith means a hella lot to me. I'm always sus when people say "this artist got me through a hard time" but it was very much the case that this guy was the soundtrack to some pretty sad times in my life - you know that bit in High Fidelity where John Cusack speculates about whether letting kids have access to all this sad music is safe? I feel like if I had a kid and they came home with an Elliott Smith record I'd worry similarly. The latter albums also mean a lot to me - figure 8 and XO have a lot more multitracking and complex arrangements, which works for my imagination. The final album, From A Basement On The Hill, is so utterly devastating that I can barely listen to it. One of my all time faves, and an easy 5-star for me. A beautiful, singular songwriter. Standout track - between the bars, I think it has to be, but I also wanna point to rose parade, because people always remember Elliott Smith for the sad ones, but actually the best ones make you feel strangely happy

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

I hadn't heard of this album, or indeed Elliott Smith, before this came up here and, frankly, it's downright criminal that I haven't been listening to this for decades. I'm a sucker for anything that is or would be at home on a 'Life Is Strange' soundtrack and a lot of this album fits that bill perfectly. A new discovery that's going to make it firmly into more regular listening

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

Oh man... I love Elliott Smith but it's impossible not to feel a profound sense of sadness every time, in every song. Has there ever been anyone who has this affect? I think I get a bit of the same feeling listening to David McComb but not on the Elliott Smith level. Wonderful and heartbreaking and beautiful and despairing.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
4

I had a hard time initially getting Elliott Smith's wispy vocals and folk guitar sameness. After repeated listens, I really like the introspection in the lyrics, the subtle variety of additional instruments on some tracks and the melodic nature of the songs. It is really good. Big fan of Cupid's Trick, Angeles, and Alameda.

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Sat Jun 19 2021
4

Solid songwriting and I like his vulnerable, but not whiney, voice. The album starts with a handful of strong tracks but fades a bit. Very melancholic feel, but knowing he died young and led a miserable life could have contributed to that. Once again, Spotify sent me, to Nick Drake after the last song, which isn't a surprise.

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Thu Mar 25 2021
4

Another artist that I have heard of before, but haven't listened to. This site really is one of the reasons why I love the internet! A couple songs in, I'm really loving the sound of this so far. Kind of mellow, warm, bright-ish lyrics and instrumentals, definitely something I'd listen to just chill out and take it easy. A lot of songs get kind of depressing when you read into the lyrics. Can't say I can relate with stuff like alcohol addiction all that well, but the way he phrases things and makes you feel is really striking and captivating. I like all of the songs on here so far. Not sure what else to say about this project, It's got interesting lyrics, that laid back, personal sounding accoustic guitar instrumentals, this warm energy.. I could go on and on, but overall, I really like this, 8/10 definitely!

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Sun Oct 17 2021
4

Another one I've not heard before. I was aware of Elliott Smith and friends loved his albums at the time. But I'd never got into him. Really liked some of the stuff on this album. At times his melodies are incredible.

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Sun Nov 07 2021
4

I've always loved Elliott and his depression-fueled melodies. This takes me way back to a very specific place in my high school career. Parts of this album reminded me of Sufjan Stevens, in a way that other Smith never really has before. Lovely stuff.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Love this album. Especially the songs from Good Will Hunting. So soft and mellow - but still a little haunting and depressing at times.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

4.0 - This album is a great companion for when I'm feeling down. There's a morose vibe that's tinged with some hopeful light that helps buoy my spirit. In particular, I love "Speed Trials", "Ballad of Big Nothing", "Pictures of Me", and "Rose Parade." I love the grunge-like hooks tempered with the somber acoustic guitar anchor and the subtle fills that keep songs sounding tuneful and interesting.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
4

It's melancholic and comforting at the same time. I've never heard anything by Elliot Smith until now, and I'm glad I got to listen to something so beautiful.

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Sat Jan 22 2022
4

Genre: Indie Folk 4/5 Elliott Smith, who unfortunately left our world much too early, left behind one of the more influential bodies of work in all of indie music, and continues to be a benchmark of quality in the genre. Either/Or serves as his magnum opus (to most), and is an exercise in melancholy, played out in a brilliant, folk-driven way from Smith. While this sort of tempo and tenor throughout a project can leave me wanting a bit more, this album makes up for its lack of sonic variations with its heart-wrenching vocal performances and Elliot Smith's true songwriting talent. It didn't tickle me quite as much as I had hoped, but it certainly did not disappoint.

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Sat Jan 22 2022
4

em comparação com seus trabalhos anteriores, either/or tem uma atmosfera ainda mais intimista com a incorporação de melodias ainda mais suaves nas composições. não que a música não tenha sido um fator importante antes, mas nunca na discografia dele ela estava tão alinhada com a atmosfera e com o storytelling característico do artista, o que faz parecer que ele está do seu lado, cantando diretamente no seu ouvido. um álbum absurdamente memorável, ainda que não seja meu favorito dele, foi o que me fez conhecê-lo. um dos álbuns que mais ouvi na vida.

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Sat Feb 12 2022
4

Elliott Smith's music has always spoken to my soul, and this album is no exception. I love how his songs feel quiet and intimate one moment and the next they open up and fly. Not my favorite album of his, though. 4.5/5 stars

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Wed Mar 23 2022
4

Surprisingly poignant and arresting. I wouldn't have figured a singer/songwriter could be this engaging. Also, it very much sound like the product of a tortured artist who wasn't going to survive.

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Thu May 12 2022
4

Really dug this one. This is the Elliott Smith album that everyone talks about, perhaps its his holy grail. I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous album we got, as it veered much closer to the singer-songwriter style that I wanted to hear. He's got a really interesting voice that communicates pain very well. I can't say I picked up on too many lyrics, but just listening back to tracks more than once I know this all would grow on me even more and get under my skin in a good way. Kudos. Favorite tracks: Speed Trials, Between the Bars, Rose Parade, Angeles, Cupids Trick, 2:45AM. Album art: I know my comment on the other Elliott Smith album was that he looked like a dork, this one he looks like a badass. Not sure where's he's located but he's smoking a cig in a way that the Surgeon General would hate because it looks cool. 4.5/5

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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

I've weirdly been hesitant to listen to Elliott Smith until now. It's not that I worried it would be bad but because it wouldn't be this inspirational force in my life like how it is with most people. I walked away pretty amazed with how smooth and digestible this album is. It's emotionally complicated and Smith's voice really carries each song. What a stunning surprise.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
4

I gave this a few listens, as its seems the sort of thing I might really like. This confirmed my initial impression of liking the gentle singer songwriter vibe with textured breathy vocals, and that the lyrics are interesting, sad and emotionally charged. However, I couldn't find that unknown something that would have made it click or resonate with me personally. Rating: 3.5/5 Playlist track: Ballad Of Big Nothing Date listened: 06/06/22

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

When I first listened to Either Or several years ago when working my way through this list I was absolutely transfixed by Smiths songwriting. Years later I still find the record striking a nerve with Smiths sense of melody and guitar sound stealing the show ('Alameda', 'Rose Parade', 'Punch and Judy'). Although most compositions are fragile and intimate, like 'Between The Bars', Smith shows quite the range on a few tracks like 'Cupid's Trick' and the Sgt. Peppers inspired 'Pictures of Me'. Strong disassociation all over the place from a very strong lyricist: "Crooked spin can't come to rest, I'm damaged bad at best"

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Fri Jun 04 2021
3

Not my favourite Elliott Smith album - I tend to prefer his other albums (this a little too far on the mellow/low-fi spectrum) - but it's still Elliott Smith, which means good melodic songs which is in my wheelhouse. Very listenable but by the end there's a sameness that leads to diminishing returns. Take the top ~7 songs and it would have made a great EP - 3 stars (6/10).

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Tue Sep 14 2021
2

Reminds me of being 14... didn't like it then don't like it now. I recognize some of the appeal but all it does for me is remind me of raging hormones and wild mood changes.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
2

I listened but it was so forgettable I couldn't discern one song from the next. Mostly just droning on and sleepy guitar plunks. Why do the reviewers think I needed to hear this?

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Tue Jan 05 2021
1

Dry, uninspiring. Can't believe single got a Grammy nod, not for me.

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Wed Sep 30 2020
1

Double-tracked whisper singing is my kryptonite. Best track: Pictures of Me.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
1

Meh

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Tue Feb 09 2021
1

Just extraordinarily mediocre - i don’t get it even slightly

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Thu Mar 11 2021
1

A friend once called Elliott Smith a 'talent vacuum'. I think he was being too kind. There is definitely a black hole of anything good around the man. One of the first albums of this quest was his, and I've dreaded another coming up since. It's fucking awful, it gives me a physical reaction because it's so awful. Pile o' shite!

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Thu May 13 2021
1

Found this pretty damn boring, didn't excite me enough to really listen to many of the songs closely at all

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Mon Jul 05 2021
1

Bad album. Struggled listening through this one.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
1

Whenever dealing with lists like this, there are always entries which make me question their inclusion. This is the first of those, I attempted to fight my way through the album twice but just couldn't get past the fact this man cannot sing, and can't make catchy enough beats to make up for that fact.

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Sat Mar 20 2021
5

Never a bad day for Elliott, ever.

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Mon May 17 2021
5

Maybe the greatest album of that decade?

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

The blueprint

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Dreamy, haunting.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

Classic Softboy music. I really think Elliot smith is so talented. Between the bars, A song dealing with addiction... or love maybe? I don't know really. I think it's the idea of wanting to help someone you love. But in doing that, you feel like you need to keep them from people who might damage them? atleast if they're always with you, you know they can't hurt you or themselves? A well meaning song I think, but really shows how quickly that relationship can spiral into a controlling mess. I really love that song. The more I sit with this album the more I like it. It's going to be in normal rotation from now on I think. It's really great.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

Beautiful. I listened to it twice. I will be returning to Elliott Smith quite a bit

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Tue May 18 2021
5

I really like his album

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

this shit fucking BANGS very hot and sexy

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

An old favourite. Masterpiece.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Saaaaaad but I love. Three of my favorite songs of all time so I’m gonna have to go five stars.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

A masterpiece. I feel every word in my bones every time I hear this album, and it's been a special one to me for a few years now.

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

Have loved this album for a long time. Not my absolute favourite of his (the self titled for me) but still gorgeous.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

Excellent singer songwriter

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

Beautiful. Sad but beautiful.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

I don't know how I avoided this album when it was fresh. But it has been holding up like a champ these last 25 years.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

This is a great album. Maybe the best for a melancholy mood.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Like this close sound

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

Drugs are bad, but they get a pass for resulting in an album as depressively great as this.

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

Great songs - perfect. Probably the most consist album of Elliott Smith and the one I usually go for.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Truly beautiful

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

Music to my ears.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

trop bien (✿◕‿◕)

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Liked it

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

Wonderful! One of The best albums ever.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Uhh, yeah, this one’s 4 the indie boys

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Klassiker. Har inte lyssnat ännu.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Absolutely loved this. Just beautiful writing and music. RIP.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
5

great

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Zwar das einzige Album von ihm was ich richtig gut finde, aber kann echt nichts Schlechtes drüber sagen. Wäre ich heute nicht so busy würd ich gern mehr drüber schreiben. Ist aber ein super schönes, emotionales, durchgehend catchy, sau gut geschriebenes Album. Die lyrics sind zwar recht simpel aber funktionieren sehr gut. So gut wie perfektes Album

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Das ist richtig schön und traurig. Die Simplizität entfaltet hier eine ihre komplette Wirkung und macht aus so wenig so viel. Sowohl die Stimme als auch die Melodien sind einfach so emotiv und carrien das alles so sehr, auch wenn ich normal nicht so der Fan von singer Songwriter Kram bin. Aber hier kommt einfach ne stringente und schlagkräftige Melancholie und Menschlichkeit bei rum und das macht dieses Album sehr hörbar obwohl ich echt nicht gut traurige Musik hören kann. Rose Parade, Between the Bars und Angeles sind absolute Highlights. Auch hier ähnlich wie bei Joni Mitchell, eventuell keine komplette 5 aber 4 fühlt sich zu wenig an.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

gehört zu den alben, die ich nur selten anhöre, weil sie mich echt mitnehmen (auf die traurige art). tatsächlich ein extrem gutes album, meiner meinung nach aber nicht das beste von elliott smith. "between the bars" und "say yes" verbinden malerische lyrics mit den schönsten melodien. ist glaube ich auch eines der wenigen arten, bei der die beste art, es zu erleben, mit kopfhörern ist. man merkt auf jeden fall hier den beatles einfluss, aber er macht da eben so viel mehr daraus. bestimmte zeitgenössische künstler/innen würden ohne elliott smith wiederum gar nicht existieren - das macht ja irgendwo musik aus.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Immer noch eins meiner liebsten Indie-Folk Alben. Vielleicht auch weil es eins meiner ersten, aber die Kombination der wunderschönen zurückhalteneren Songs und den eingängigen fast schon spaßigen Hymnen macht das ganze immer noch zu so einem guten Listen für mich 9/10

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

Congratulations, now I feel just as shitty as you. You're an asshole.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

Beautiful and haunting

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

I really love this album. Elliott Smith’s ethereal delivery is so soothing. Kind of ironic for that to come from such a tortured artist. A wonderful soundtrack to help ease the daily stress of life with enough wistfulness to not be boring. Favorite Songs: Ballad of Big Nothing, No Name No. 5, Pictures of Me, Rose Parade, Say Yes

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

Every time it ends, I just start it over again. And the more I listen the more I like. Breathy vocals and vulnerable lyrics, lovely indie-folk instrumentation. Heart-achingly beautiful. A new favorite.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

At first I was not sure that the soft gentle voice of the artist would be able to win me over, but it did.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

A number of times in this project I have listened to beautiful music I have a strong connection to, only to find that the artist was full of terrible pain. Here we are again. I loved this one.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

04/05/2022 I've kind of avoided Elliott Smith for a while just for how many internet opinons there are on his life, music, and passing. Glad I finally did take the time to listen - it's clearly very sad, but there's an overwhelming beauty to the lyrics and Smith's voice. I also appreciate that this isn't an album that was made for exclusively gloomy days.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

I mean this is the blueprint of the singer songwriter that would become more prevalent in the decades that followed. It’s also a great love letter to the indie and folk musicians from before it. Absolutely excellent album from an artist taken far too soon.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

The music is really welcoming in a life kinda sucks empathetic way. I really enjoyed being introduced to him. I have already listened to the album multiple times to listen more in depth to the lyrics and appreciate the whole sound he created.

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Wed May 25 2022
5

Lots of love for this album, listened while walking to work in the rain. Pretty much the perfect way to hear its dreamy melancholy. Wonderful.

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Mon May 30 2022
5

Beautifully subtle, subtlety brilliant. Incredible indie guitar album with the perfect amount of edge. Can hear how this has influenced so many to go after him eg Andy Shauf, Matt Costa and Tiny Little Houses. Can even hear a bit of Paper Mache era Gizz in the first couple of tracks. Strong start but even stronger finish in Rose Parade and Angeles. No Name No. 5 is a perfectly composed track. He also sounds exactly like another more contemporary artist (especially in Angeles) that I can't put my finger on if my life depended on it. Hopefully it will come to me one day in a future relisten. Also 50 points for punching a dart on the album cover.

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Wed Jun 15 2022
5

One of my favourite albums of all time - and always a pleasure to hear it especially on a chilled Sunday or sunny morning 🔆

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Sat Jul 02 2022
5

Top 10 nineties record for me dawg.

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Sun Jul 10 2022
5

Legendary album. Love it.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
5

wonderful

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

I am really hooked by this sound in the first few songs. Interesting vocal textures. Rose Parade is another great tune. Say Yes is a great tune! What an excellent album!

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Mon Aug 01 2022
5

Seen the Either/Or album cover before and heard good things but never listened. After giving it a listen and finding it really great, I thought why didn't I listen to it earlier. Didn't know what type of music I was gonna get but was pleasently surprised. Listened to it twice and can't find a bad track on here. Definitely an artist I want to explore more of.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
5

den 2. beste smithen

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

Big part of the soundtrack to my college years. I couldn't listen to this at night because it would be too intense. Instead, I opted to listen in the day to take the edge off. I don't always want to wade in melancholy, but when I do, Elliott Smith really hits the spot.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Solid, just really sad

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

This is pretty much a perfect album from a perfect songwriter. So few records make me a feel a very a specific thing and this is one of them. It's been a while since I listened to it, I only wish today's Portland weather matched the mood this record invokes as it's a very Portland record.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

I’ve already listened to this album prior and loved it. He’s got a fantastic writing style with an ethereal voice that’s hard to pull yourself away from.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Love it, thinking 4.5 then Say Yes!

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Awesome.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

Yes, it's a very good album, very exciting

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

All of my previous experience from Elliott smith had been from the album figure 8 a great album but not one I revisited all too much because of how long the album is for what it is. Either or seems to be be better being much shorter and immediately opening with speed trials a rather raw acoustic banger absolutely amazing! Alameda is a true show of excellent songwriting also the ghostly ooh’s are cool. Ballad of big nothing has an amazing guitar sound and an amazing hook on the chorus! Between the bars is short and tender, it’s nice but how is this his number one song on spotify? ( oh just saw it was on some soundtrack makes sense). I like how of pictures of me feels like it’s constantly moving up a few semitones every few seconds creates a great tense feeling so good my favourite so far! No name number 5 is a great song unfortunately I haven’t herd no name 1-4 so I can’t really compare but still solid. Rose parade is one of my favourites on a guitar level it’s really good this album is really hard to review because I just want to take it in. Throwing Punch and Judy as a sorta dark metaphor was a very great idea but the song isn’t one of my favourites, still amazing though. Angeles has brilliant guitar picking really bloody hard to review though just know I like it. Cupids trick has the most energy of any of the tracks really outstanding track! The penultimate track 2:45 am (similarly to between the bars) is so tender what a brilliant song. The closer say yes is great I think I’ve herd it before it’s really good. It’s a true 5/5!

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Wed Oct 26 2022
5

A college friend of mine used to work in a pizza shop in downtown Portland back in the early 1990s. He told me that Elliott often came in with just barely enough change for a slice — and that some times he didn't even have enough. About five years after this, Elliott is in a white suit playing Miss Misery at the Oscars. And, maybe five years after that he's dead. The news struck us hard given all the obvious and incidental connections that come with some shared community. And yet, despite living in Olympia, WA in the 90s I missed the initial release of Roman Candle and the self-titled record but Either/Or was anticipated and it stuck. This record is my most listened to Smith album. If you're paying attention and know any of Smith's biography it's a painful record to listen to at times but even if you don't know those details it's a beautiful, flawed statement with enduring resonance. Many songs will bring me to tears and yet some of them I've sung to those I love.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

"Either/Or" is the representation of mystical and melancholic music, it perfectly reflects the feeling of dissociation and isolation. This album is just emotionally and aesthetically pleasing. I think Elliott Smith is best known for his voice which is both very smooth and sounds like a soft cry, it's absolutely one-of-a-kind. Listening to it is simply a pleasure. And it's not only his voice that I so alluring and makes you want to listen to his music. It's a bunch of quality products put together in those songs: the music, lyrics, and the whole mood associated with this album are just phenomenal. I am unapologetically a big fan of this piece of art. favourite tracks: "Between the Bars" and "Cupid's Track"; least favourite track: there isn't any.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

There was an earlier Elliott Smith record on this list that I said wasn't what I expected of Elliott Smith. This is more what I expected, and I like it much more than I thought. It's filled with great songs, with such a raw feel to them. No matter how sparse his instrumentation, Smith manages to make them sound full. I'll be listening to this a lot.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
5

I'm such an absolute sucker for slow sad stuff with acoustic guitar. It's not even funny. Sufjan Stevens vibes, but hints of angry angsty teen. I needed this today and I'm keeping it. Rose Parade is so simple and lovely and easy to bob my head to, love the three high notes that keep coming back. And I don't know how to describe it but Cupids Trick has the exact hollow frustrated sadness that I find most comforting when I'm in a bad mood, similar to Family Happiness by The Mountain Goats, but with more interesting chords.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

Favorite album atm

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Sun Jun 13 2021
4

Interesting album from someone who was killed way too young. Lo fi is fun to put on in the background and I'd definitely spin this album again in the future. Good stuff.

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Fri Dec 25 2020
4

stuck in love introduced me to this. smth na doesnt stick but very chill, i like it.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

4/20 3.5/5. Very nice somber tracks, I like his voice. Standout Tracks: Speed Trials, Ballad Of Big Nothing, Rose Parade, Cupids Trick, Say Yes

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

interesting style of singing and it has something special to it

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Fri Dec 04 2020
4

Great album!

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

Loved it, can't believe I never heard this before. Fantastic.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
4

Terrific album - a great mix of rather melancholic yet infectious, low-key tunes.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

One of alt-Rock's \"what if's\" RIP, Elliott.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

So. much. emotion.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

A highlight from the end of the 90s. Melodic soft tones and strong lyrics. Full of songs you didnt know where they come from but have heard on repeated indie movie soundtracks, including Good Will Hunting. Although the sound is light, much of the content is dark. Big contrast between.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

It's a good sad album.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Une découverte pour moi.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

Never heard of him before this. Enjoyed it!

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Sat Feb 06 2021
4

Nice variation in style of songs while keep a distinct sound

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Original emo right here.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Elliott Smith made some achingly beautiful music. Sad, fragile, and haunting. My only (slight) complaint is that most of his songs sound fairly similar. 4 stars.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Wasn’t sure how much I liked this, but I had it on repeat all day.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
4

Enjoyed this. Would listen again.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

not my favorite Elliot Smith record but damn is it good

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Sat Jun 19 2021
4

This is a new listen for me, sad music that can make you happy. Nice melancholy vibe that can get under your skin.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
4

Really liked the melodic tones. Does it seem that a lot of the artists on this list have have very tragic story? Will definitely listen to this again.

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

A deep album with lot of significance. Not perfect, but a must listening whatsoever.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

To begin with I was a little bored with the first two tracks but then Ballad of do nothing and Between the bars caught my attention. Its downbeat of course it is, eventually Elliot Smith committed suicide! But Lyrically the songs are insanely good and perfectly captured my mood on the first Monday back after a week off work! 5/5 lyrically. 3/5 for the production and mono toned singing. 4/5 overall

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Sat Jun 19 2021
4

I quite like this album. This first listen through it was quite depressing but the 2nd time through I cranked the volume and the gloom and doom rolled right off me. I recall Elliott saying something along the lines that ever since his first suicide attempt people assumed his songs were depressing. He also clarified that his songs about drug addictions were not sad songs about down and out addicts: he was just using metaphors. OK then. I’ll guess I’ll play this one at 11:40 PM next New Year’s Eve.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

Riktigt mysigt faktiskt!! Gillar Angeles och alameda.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Sounds good, but I need to pay more attention to the lyrics and the sound. Anyways, it was a great album

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

This album is basically a indie folk version of Nick Drakes music. Very quite but it does have more instruments when compared to Nick Drake

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Sat May 22 2021
4

Something about Elliott Smith’s music is very haunting and addicting. I don’t listen to him enough. “Say Yes” is a perfect song.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
4

love the vibe n love elliot smith would’ve been 5 if some songs weren’t that “boring” he has better stuff!

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

I'm not a *huge* fan of the sound - it's a little dreary for my tastes - but there's some excellent song-writing here. Much better than I expected.

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Surprising good! Nice and chill with an addictive voice

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Thu May 06 2021
4

No quite my music but its ok. Kinda stoner rock vibe

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Sun May 09 2021
4

A great album that I already new. This album has directly inspired a lot of other artists. Between the Bars being my fav of course.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

What a great album this is....way too long since I listened to it. Just one beautiful song after another. Elliott's voice is so gentle and inviting. Love this album 4 stars

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Mon Jun 21 2021
4

pls finish listetning to it, i kinda got bored

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

2000s-era sad boi music. Elliott Smith was the best, this record is no exception. Great songwriting

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

Elliott Smith, one of the OG whiney bois.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

definitely on rotation

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

A little sleepy for me. I was fading as the album continued but Cupids Trick was a nice switch-up. Wish more of the album was like that! Ended up learning more about Elliott Smith and re-listening to some of his more popular songs, they had a larger impact after I learned a bit more about him

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

3.5/5. I liked it more than I thought I would, I would listen again.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Really got to me on the second listen.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Simple ans good

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Beautiful

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Sat Nov 20 2021
4

I can't say I'd heard any Elliot Smith before this but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is very much a vibe that I resonate with and I'll be revisiting a few songs for sure.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Never heard this one before but I loved it. This one was fantastic.

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Dass Elliott smith bisher an mir vorbeiging ist ein Fehler der Algorithmen

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Bisher wenig gehört, aber immer wieder überzeugt!

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Tue Dec 14 2021
4

Very nice, some great songwriting

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Tue Dec 21 2021
4

A bit depressing but not bad.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
4

Fire

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Fri Jan 07 2022
4

Much more familar with XO and Figure 8 so interesting to hear this earlier work

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

No other decade could produce an album like this. Singer/songwriter, mostly with acoustic guitars only, but the chords and melodies have soaked in the full 90ness of things. First word that comes to mind is "angsty". Which isn't bad neccessarily, but I have to be in the mood to listen to this. I'll give it 3.5/5.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

beaucoup de reviews disent que l'ablum est chiant du coup chiante autodiag

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Mon Jan 17 2022
4

Elliott Smith walked so that Sufjan Stevens could fly Those arpeggios are pretty sweet though.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
4

I loved! Tks

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Vackert... stark 4

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

I feel like I'm only giving out fours now.

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Sat Feb 05 2022
4

Un bon album de elliot smith, j’avais bcp aime lautre sur la liste, celui ci est superieur. 4.25

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Mon Feb 14 2022
4

i like him ,hes good

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

Sehr comfy und wunderschön instrumentiert. Bekomme irgendwie zum Teil einen David Bowie Vibe, nicht sicher, ob das irgendwie ein persönlicher Knall ist, oder, ob hier wirklich vorherige Popmusik nochmal unter anderem Vorzeichen echot.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

Haunting. Great indie 90s music.

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Sat Mar 19 2022
4

Rock folk indie

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Mon Mar 21 2022
4

I assumed this would be depressing but Smith is a gifted singer-songwriter.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

Really good singer-songwriter

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

alright

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

I actually quite liked this; had some interesting moments and great tracks.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

AMO este álbum.

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Sat Apr 23 2022
4

I've been meaning to listen to a full Elliot Smith album for years but never did for some reason. I was certainly not disappointed. This is really really good stuff. However I can't quite commit to giving it a full five. I think I need a little "breathing time". At worst this is a very strong 4.

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Tue May 17 2022
4

I absolutely love Speed Trials and it's not because it's the first song on the album. Excellent writing. Can't wait to get into the rest of his discography

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Mon May 23 2022
4

Jedan kvalitetan, depresivan, divan lo-fi/indie folk/rock album, i tu nema diskusije. Depresija: "Što ćete popiti?" Ja: "Može 2:45 am, štrukani."

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Mon May 23 2022
4

Nisam se jako uzivila u album ovaj put. Al kad sam tuzna i pustim si between the bars ili angels ko sol na ranu je. Al paše

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Thu May 26 2022
4

Bom álbum

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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

Haunting

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Wed Jun 08 2022
4

Real good

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Sat Jun 11 2022
4

6/9/2022 - ALBUM #133 Today's Album: "Either Or" by Elliott Smith - This is a really fantastic record and I feel like it's going to be a mouthful to say everything that makes this album great but I guess I'll try my best to keep it brief. First of all, I really think Elliott's vocals make this entire album work as a whole. There is a lot of great things to say about the instrumentals, but the thing that really keeps me engaged throughout the album is the way Elliott is able to sing with such a quiet, melancholic tone. The microphone sounds like it's right up against his mouth most of the time, but it's insane how he's able to maintain control of his voice while staying so hushed. Even when he's really letting loose and shouting out a verse, it either maintains that melancholic tone or he does a sort of whisper scream like he doesn't want to wake his parents (With surprisingly positive results since he still holds such strong control of his voice). The vocals however are only a great execution of what is some seriously amazing songwriting. Not only are the lyrics super dense and hard-hitting, with the general theme of the record being about the sorrow and melancholy of becoming an adult as your expectations and surroundings constantly change around you. There's also a lot of lyrics alluding to this idea of someone inflicting the pain they whine about onto themselves. The track Alameda is a clear example of this with the line, "Nobody broke your heart." I also think the music writing here is pretty damn fantastic, with super tight and catchy choruses and a ton of really unique grooves and guitar licks. The guitar playing is a definite highlight throughout the album with a ton of really impressive riffs and licks and whenever he introduces a drum and bass into the mix, those tracks really shine from it. It's definitely an album that's perfect to listen to top to bottom because the low-energy moments that take up a majority of space here only make the louder moments count more. I heard Angeles while watching Good Will Hunting so when I opened this album, I saw that song was already downloaded and I have to say it's really one of the best tracks here. When I first heard it I was just so stunned by it being able to portray such optimism and melancholy at the same time, and I think that perfectly describes a lot of this project; such a happy sadness to it. I kind of put this album in the punk category in my mind when I first heard it due to it's darker tone, but the more I explore this album it really feels more like an indie folk record with a sort of depressing filter on it. Overall, this is an extremely moving album that truly shines in it's subtlety and is best enjoyed with a pair of headphones. Give this one a listen if you want something sort of sad to listen to after 1am but also want something with great melodies and fantastic performances throughout. Highlights: Speed Trials, Alameda, Ballad Of Big Nothing, Between The Bars, Pictures Of Me, No Name No. 5, Rose Parade, Punch And Judy, Angeles, Cupids Trick, 2:45 AM, Say Yes Score: 8.5/10 A subtle, melancholic masterpiece

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Wed Jun 15 2022
4

det är ju bra grejer alltså

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

pa siestar

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Sat Jun 25 2022
4

Best Song: Between the Bars. A perfect encapsulation of a particular type of melancholy. The lyrics here are excellent, full of clever double entendres. Worst Song: Cupid's Trick. I found the instrumentals mixed too loud relative to Smith's voice. The drums were fine, but the guitar seemed at odds with the tone he was portraying. Overall: I don't think there's an artist that can sound so vulnerable, and make the listener feel as vulnerable, as Elliott Smith. It is difficult to even articulate what it is about the combination of his whispered vocals and sad, poetic lyrics that is so compelling. It sounds like the coming of a peaceful but inevitable tragedy. Many have imitated, but none have come close to duplicating.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

I think I want to come back to this one later

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Mon Jul 11 2022
4

Good acoustic album.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

Way better than expected, good acousti-grunge stuff from the era.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
4

Always liked this.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
4

Elliott Smith be like

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

Very vibey, kind of hard to understand the lyrics Better album for an early AM commute lol

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