Figure 8 is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, and the final studio album released during his lifetime. It was recorded from 1998 to 2000 at numerous studios and released on April 18, 2000, through DreamWorks Records. Preceded by the singles "Happiness" and "Son of Sam", Figure 8 was Smith's second release on a major label.Wikipedia
Elliot is the secret mycelium that links a group of friends from high school-college-hamlin and carries the weight of rarely verbalized pain and melancholy that naturally accompanies our lives but doesn't pair well with PBR and conditioned masculinity. Over the years I've often protested playing Elliot, not because I dislike his music (I love it), but because it's such a vibe shifter. At least for me it is. Sometimes it takes a Herculean level of mental and physical exercise (+substances) to catch a positive current, and Elliot can sweep that away in 3 minutes. Powerful guy. He was there (self titled) in Matt's Lakeway house one night playing beer pong in the garage. Bizarre contrast. He was there (Either/Or) in Nic's mom's apartment in Toulouse taking a nap with 6 other dudes in the afternoon. Perfect fit. He was there (Figure 8) in Nic's Volvo on the mushroom hangover drive back from the Tacoma-GH walk. That's when somethnig really connected. I got home to my new place with Rico (who I didn't really know yet), closed my bedroom door, drew the curtains, and put Can't Make a Sound on repeat for hours. Rico was very concerned, but said nothing. Understanding guy. Favorite Elliot album. Melodies so sweet they almost sweep away the sour. Tricky guy. A+
It’s so classic. Drove to Los Angeles this summer just to take a selfie in front of the mural that made up the album cover.
Perfect score. So sad that this was his last album before he took his own life. You could hear the massive step forward Figure 8 was in his career. Still makes me sad to this day his loss and the loss to the world of music.
Such beautiful music. A soundtrack to a very sad story. Elliott Smith is one of those artists, like so many on this list, who exist in the periphery: you've heard of them, meant to pull off the highway and go explore them, but you never get around to saying yes to the exit and then meander down an unknown road. This is a terrible album to listen to on a gray day. This is a perfect album to listen to on a grey day.
This is one of my favorite Elliott Smith albums. It’s like Dylan going electric. The two previous albums were pared down singer songwriter masterpieces. This album he adds more orchestration, pianos, electric instruments and drums making for a dynamic and fun album, but maintaining his melancholy. Son of Sam, Stupidity Tries and Happiness are three of my all time songs. Doesn’t get much better than this, but I’d put From a Basement on a Hill just above it when it comes to the larger sound albums. Not a surprise grade from the Elliott Smith Superman, 5.
Classic album. RIP.
Perfect heartbreaking pop melodies.
Been listening to this for 10 years. I actually like it more than XO. Some of the most beautiful and haunting songwriting I've ever heard.
Elliott Smith was a big influence on my favorite artist (Ben Folds), so naturally I hear a lot of similarities between the two of them, but listening to this album I can hear the influence he might have had on even more indie artists that followed him (The Shins, Deathcab, Bon Iver, Fountains of Wayne). I read he was a big fan of the Beatles, which totally comes through in his sound (“Pretty Mary Kay” especially, for me)...at times this album even felt like a darker, more contemporary Simon & Garfunkel (though I didn’t find anything to suggest he emulated them specifically). Overall I really enjoyed listening to this album. Hard to choose a favorite song, but right now I’m really felling “Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud” & “Can’t Make a Sound.”
Cry some more Elliot
PERO QUE MIERDA ES ESTO
Love it. Especially the moody atmosphere, the dampened undertones, and the feeling of playing the album on a late weekday night. Smith’s voices comes out pretty clearly and demands my attention.
great album, son of sam is a top tier opener
Love Elliott always
easy, 5 one of my faves
My 2nd favourite Elliott Smith record after XO and just slightly ahead of Either/Or. Brilliant.
Not my favorite Smith album, but still phenomenal
V Good. Emo but not in a way that is annoying.
He didn’t kill himself.
Real top shelf shit
All of the yes. That voice. Not my favourite E.S. album (Either/Or), but still really really good. At the same time, listening to this, I’m realizing there’s something really cold and distant about it, not as intimate as his other stuff, and the fact that it’s the last album released while he was alive while his mental health was deteriorating brings that home, and I think makes it a bit haunting in a way. Favourite track: “Can’t Make a Sound”
I am definitely biased with everything related to Elliott Smith. This album, though not my favorite in his discography, is fantastic. The production sounds different than the Either Or's -more distortion, faster songs- but it still feels personal, vivid, a piece of his self from him to us. I love it. It grows in me with every listen.
abi uc aydir bu album benim her seyim. everything reminds me of her ve everything means nothing to me BU IKI SARKI UC AYDIR DINLEDIGIM EN GERCEJ SARKILAR of aglicam cok seviyorum
Not as depressing a I was expecting it to be.
Elliott Smith was a favorite among my friends in college. I like it. There are albums by him that hit harder than this one but still good.
This is kind of a weird album, in the sense that I don't really see why it's significant in terms of it's role in music history or the era/movement that it was part of, but I still just enjoy it. There's something about the sound of his voice that I really enjoy. The production is very solid all the way through. There's also something that feels very personal about his writing 4/5
Funny enough, it was the grand and bombastic moments where I feel Elliot truly shined here; the quieter moments were good too, but they didn't hit quite as hard as they did on Either/Or. Great album though.
1. The palm muted guitar technique here sounds really nice, as well as the short break with the distorted guitar. The instrumentation is cool overall, and the piano feels right in place. Strong first track. 2. Really like the somber tone of the song with the fast pace as well. Sounds downcast without being too downcast, which I like. 3. Awesome start to the song, sounds amazing. The bassline is cool too. The overall rhythm and riffs in the song are really neat. 4. Really nice, relaxed and laid back song. 5. Really weird, but also sinister. Reminds me of Technology is a Dead Bird and Machine by Mars Argo, which have a similar somber feeling. The delayed drums are funky but interesting. 6. Really cool beat, the distorted guitar and rhythm is cool. The chorus is really cool, and the guitar work is amazing. 7. Piano is really cool. Eerie at the end of the song. 8. The guitar work is really cool, and the short bursts of the distorted guitar accenting the track sounds awesome. The bassline is really cool. 9. Really chill acoustic song, I liked it a lot. 10. Amazing momentum in the song, I love the acoustic guitar part in this. The weird synths throughout the song add so much. It inspires me to use more unconventional patches in music. 11. The piano is exceptionally strong in the song, and I like how the guitar accents its part. 12. I like the subtle rhodes in the background, and the muted guitar is so cool. Really impressive track. 13. The harmonized voices are cool, and the really messed up guitar is pretty cool. LOVE the synths. 14. Solid song. 15. Intro is kind of samey, especially when compared to the last track. The bass and lead guitar really spice it up though. 2:35 POPS OFF. 16. Really sinister, but not bad.
The art for this album is everywhere in my life. Not sure why but it is. If there were an Album Art-le game, I’d nail this one off the bat. I love Elliott Smith but this isn’t my favorite of his albums. Some of the songs downright irritate me. It’s very stream of consciousness and when a band/artist goes in that direction, that’s usually when they lose me. (Case in point: Radiohead) One major exception is the Lost and Found—that little piano ditty gets stuck in my head and I LOVE it. So playful. I love the motif of pairing the guitar and piano melody in so many of his songs. And Color Bars is a good one too. Simple. Not trying too hard. I found science in the album. Everything Reminds Me of Her. Everything Means Nothing to Me. Therefore, she means nothing to me. The lyric in LA, “Last night I was about to throw it all away,” just makes me so sad. Cuz one night he did throw it all away. And I don’t judge him for it—depression and drug addiction are a lethal combination. But what a fucking tragic loss.
The author of this list seems to have a real soft spot for records that ended up being an artist’s final record before their tragic death. 40 records in to this exercise and I’ve been given a few already. While often an important document of the waning days of an artist, albums like this are not always the best representation of the artist’s output and often gain mythological status solely for being the last thing they put out before they died. Figure 8 feels like it was included because it was Elliot Smith’s final record before taking his own life and not necessarily because it’s one of the Elliot Smith records you should hear before you die. I think ”XO” from 1998 would be a better inclusion, in that case. Don’t get me wrong, Figure 8 is a good record. The songs are all well crafted, with expansive instrumentation and nicely layered vocal harmonies. Compared to XO, Figure 8 has a bit more of edge compared to its predecessor with more distorted guitar, and a darker, more blunt lyrical theme. XO, ultimately, is a more enjoyable record. Its songwriting is more concise and memorable. Figure 8 kind has a sprawling feel - a lot of ground travelled, but you still end up in the same place: unknown, yet entirely familiar. Fittingly, it reminds me of traveling in the city it was recorded, Los Angeles: There dozens of neighborhoods that make up Los Angeles, all with their own traits, yet very much the same. Figure 8 takes its time in navigating its sprawl, in the same way that traveling Los Angeles by car can be so time consuming. I’m not sure I landed that analogy properly. Going back to my original point, this isn’t the Elliot Smith record I’d recommend to a newcomer, Either/Or and XO make better starting points. I would save Figure 8 for last. Sometimes the last record an artist put out is the last one you should hear.
It was ok. Background music really. Perfectly ok, but nothing that stands out.
Elliott Smith snorts coke off his mum's tits. Pass it on. My dear friend Sir Whippy Pippington passed away listening to this record. RIP.
Sounds like British 2000s rock. Just bland and boring and hard to listen to. Totally forgettable. 1/10.
I don't find Elliott Smith lyrically interesting for reasons I won't get into here. That leaves his music. Since Smith went into a self-confessional folkie direction, his lyrics are mostly what he's about, so that's two strikes against him. Fortunately, on Figure 8, Smith opens up his sound somewhat past his quivering voice and spindly guitar picking, which definitely helps matters. But still, Smith's tunes sound like they all came from the same factory. It's been said that his music is Beatlesque, but that's an insult to the Beatles. Their music sounds joyous and effortless, but you can hear Elliott Smith painfully grinding away on tune after tune, and at almost an hour, that's way too much of a bad thing.
Rubbish. The guy is clearly a good musician but his whispery, airy fairy voice really grates. Plu,s the misery in ALL the lyrics just makes this a shit listen. You've gotta wonder if he be anywhere near this list if he hadn't topped himself.
Probably the most generic thing I've heard in my life. My Chemical Romance but what if it was written by Michael from The Office
Je suis sur le cul. Tellement bon et je ne connaissais pas . Wow je recoute l’album et la discography. 5
Ya lo escuché
Un cinco bajo.
Este lo conocí en la carrera, solía trabajar con el en esas noches interminables de Maya o After Effects, me gusta mucho
Mil estrellas de mil.
only listened to the first 2 songs but it sounded good
Vabbè, so pronto. Grazie al signore non è From The Basement On The Hill che fortunatamente non c'è nella lista, ho controllato. In conclusione: Non faccio pezzo per pezzo perché li conosco troppo bene e non avrebbe molto senso. Questo album non lo ascoltavo da un po', non è il mio album preferito di Elliott Smith (che rimane FTBOTH), ma cazzo se è un bell'album. Il suo modo disperato, vulnerabile ma giocoso di comporre è una cosa che secondo me ha fatto storia e ha lasciato il segno in un sacco di cantautori successivi. L'onesta dei pezzi è indiscussa e come dice lui stesso in Memory Lane "If it's your decision to be open about yourself, be careful or else...". Non so se li accomuno per la fine tragica precoce o per la predisposizione acustica ma Elliott Smith per me è un po' il Nick Drake dei sui tempi, ha avuto un impatto altrettanto forte sulla musica (che nel caso di Nick Drake è stato postumo). Nonostante questo album sia decisamente (e fortunatamente) meno dark di FTBOTH comunque certi pezzi mi hanno dato comunque una bella botta, tipo Everything Means Nothing To Me che mi arriva sempre come una coltellata (no pun intended). Vabbè bando alle ciance: per me, nonostante il glamour che lo circonda per la sua vita disastrata e che lo fa piacere agli hipsteroni un po' morbosi, Elliott Smith rimane un patrimonio dell'umanità. Se a lui non dò 5 non c'è speranza per nessuno.
Thought this was just great. Even paced and interesting.
Very good. Listened twice and added to favourites
A brilliant album. Loved it for many years. A stunning songwriter.
Absolutely one of my favorite albums of all-time.
Solid the whole way through. I can’t believe I haven’t listened to this in so many years
Perfection - one of my favourite albums ever
How have I not heard his before! This is why I do this list..
Elliott Smith with a backing band has a very Beatles-esque sound. The song writing is great, the musicianship and instrumentation is great, and the production is perfect. Instant classic
Liked this album a lot. Elliot has a greet voice and the music flowed well
I cannot believe I never listened to this album before.
So sad and so lovely.
guitar-y pretty vocals easy alternative sad boy but not too sad, crowd pleaser in the lab
One of the best albums I've heard in a little while, as I go on with this challenge. It was so damn good. Everything about it was so good. My favourite song has to be L.A
Parfait (ou presque) Prefs: Son of Sam, Somebody That I Used To Know, Junk Bond Trailer, Everything Means Nothing To Me, L.A., In the Lost and Found (Honky Bach)/The Roost, Stupidity Tries, Easy Way Out, Color Bars, Happiness/The Gondola Man, I Better Be Quiet Now, Can't Make a Sound Moins pref: Everything Reminds Me of Her
Everything means nothing to me
Un cinco bajo.
An excellent record of a troubled life.
All the cute emojis girls in high school loved Elliott Smith and so I did too.
There's something touching about the way each song is so carefully composed. Unlike with most 'singer-songwriter' songs in which the accompaniment (be it by a full band, guitar or a piano) tends to provide only the bare-minimum harmonic structure statically, in Elliott Smith's songs the accompaniment is melodic (rather than simply being chordal) and mobile, providing counter-melodies to the vocal melody. It owes a lot to his guitar playing style which mixes picking and strumming and thus emphasizes the bass line melody (e.g. Somebody That I Used To Know, Easy Way Out, Better Be Quiet Now). But you can hear the same fondness for countermelodies in other parts of the songs too: the very brief backing vocal part during the first chorus of Can't Make A Sound, for instance, or the strings (or the synth or Mellotron?) that play during the chorus in the latter half of Everything Means Nothing To Me. He's like The Beatles, not just because of his knack for beautiful and memorable melody or sophisticated harmony, which this album displays in abundance, but because of his willingness / desire to infuse each song with as many musical ideas as possible. One small caveat is the drums sound a bit too perfunctory and by the numbers compared to other elements of the songs, but it doesn't really matter when the composition is this good throughout.
just seeing the album cover has the opening bars looping in my head. i was decades late to elliott smith, but his few albums get regular play. i first heard elliott smith the same day i heard mars volta, and it wasn't till a bit later i was able to find these artists again
Somebody that i used to know é boa. Everything Reminds Me of Her também. Everything Means Nothing to Me tem uma repetição. Riff do começo de In The Lost And Found é ótimo
I am left a bit speechless. This is an excellent offering from Elliott Smith. Yet another album where a renaissance man composes and played almost all the instruments plus vocals. The one thing I know I like are his doubled up vocal tracks. Having his own voice more than once provides a comforting quality to the album. There isn’t a bad song on here. Truly a revelation.
Great album. Either/Or is his best, then maybe XO but they're all fives to me.
The first notes are so melancholy and moving. A worthy start for one of the most talented American performers, taken from us way too soon and so tragically (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2004/mar/19/popandrock.elliottsmith). I'm trying to remember which ex-girlfriend it was that introduced me to Elliott Smith. Might have been Sasha or maybe Erica. Probably it was Jen. But it was a long time ago, and the love affair with this music went on far longer than the relationship with her ever did (somebody that I used to know). Individually through the magic of Napster, I have quite a few of the individual tracks if Figure 8 in my collection, but there are unheard tracks here. Junk Bond. This is new to me and it swings. Guitars like church gongs in the first stanza. Easy Way Out = 💔. Damn. It's very hard not to like an Elliot Smith album. I've never heard anyone say oh I hate Elliot Smith. I think that's because you have to love music to even get introduced to Elliot Smith. And since anyone who really loves music loves Elliot Smith, no one really dislikes his music. A very quiet massive figure and this album is beautiful. Top notch. Bye.
A memorable album, beautifully constructed, charmingly delivered and haunted of course by its author’s tragic passing. An ironically more upbeat record than we’re used to from Elliott Smith and with a variety in tone and style. A pretty classic album.
Beautiful Arrangements and Meaningful Lyrics, 5/5 Highlight- "Everything Means Nothing To Me"
Malinconia. Testi cupi ma che con un sottofondo di speranza. Profondi. Belle chitarre, begli incastri con gli altri strumenti. Molto orchestrale, tutto fila. Molto Beatles.
Perfect album. I still miss Elliott Smith
Excellent, I loved it.
Beautiful melodies and emotional and touching lyrics. The whole album felt like it was getting sadder and sadder with each track.
cool kinda sad though very nice
i'll probably never get tired of this record
The overall appeal here is that this piece comes across as bittersweet and delightfully gentle in places. Very good late night music.
I had never listened to Elliott Smith but I can say this is really great. The album has a unique sound, feel, and quality... and that is surprising in a genre that has been explored as much as indie/alt. I really love the idea of the figure 8 representing the artistry here. It's an endless loop, a journey towards perfection without ever reaching it or knowing when to stop. In the same sense, you end up in the same place you started but your better for having traveled that road. I was between a 4 and 5 but I listened to the album again and it's gotta be a 5. I've already added a few tracks to my playlist and I'll listen to this in it's entirety again.
Perfect album. Great production after many plain ES albums. If you really wanna hate yourself just listen to this.
Cool album, Mr. Smith. Very alt rock very cool
Pretty great. A little dreary but the songwriting is strong
I really do like this album
I like it
I like Elliot Smith and that's a nice album. Not too many stand out songs, and probably not my favorite album of his, but still very nice
Glad I gave this another listen. While the compositions veer from minor to major, there’s still a cohesiveness to this LP which I think stems from Elliott’s vocals. The lyrics are vague but delivered with enough emotion to carry each song from one to the next. I’m not usually a downtempo acoustic guy, but even the slower compositions here grabbed me.
So sad. Classic Elliott Smith.
Lovely calm indie folk, a little more groovy and movey than fleet foxes . Could easily be soundtrack
My fave Smith record. Happiness is my fave track from him
Why do his sad songs sound so happy? He's got a pretty unique style. It's got a little more folksy oomph than typical emo from that era. It's more stripped down and heartfelt than the Brand News that hide behind their eye shadow and ripping guitars.
I like Elliott Smith's voice, so unique and mysterious. I like the slow songs as well as the harder jams, I appreciate that he can navigate both. I thought this was a solid album with good songwriting and stayed interesting throughout.
I remember listening to Elliott Smith around the same time I got into The Mountain Goats, with his album, "XO" which was phenomenal. Then I listened to this album years later, and, while not as good as his previous, this album was beautiful in it's execution and feel. "Easy Way Out" and "Everything Means Nothing To Me", and "Better Be Quiet Now" are easily the best songs on the album. Elliott Smith was a brilliant person, and was definitely taken too soon, I'm just glad that I picked up that first album when I did....
Musicaly great, just not my style
Good indie rock for the sad crowd. The songwriting gets a bit repetitive at times, but the production is excellent and the sound is so engrossing that it's well worth a listen.
Rock suave. Bastante interesante.
Great album, even if depressing (pretty standard for Elliott Smith)
Pretty nice layering, great for a relaxed background album. Vocals are unique, but for some people, probably push the album to the limit. Slot in a few great tracks, and this is a keeper
Elliott Smith was murdered. Figure8 is probably my personal third favourite Elliott Smith record, but also probably his best work.
Muy agradable al principio, luego me dio la vribrita de banda dosmilera "alternativa", tipo Zoé, y se me paso el encanto jajaja (o sea ya sé que esto fue antes, pero igual). Creo que las que más me gustaron fueron L.A., Mama woundt be proud y algunas de las que están acompañadas por el piano. Mood: Canciones que aparecerían en la intro de Charmed.
Best album I've had so far that I'd not heard
I've heard this before and it's pretty great. 0RS
Reminds me of high school. Didn't listen to a lot of Elliott Smith, but I can hear the similarities in the bands I did listen too; they obviously had been influenced by him. I think I like his personal sound better now than back in 2000. A good album, and an easy listen, for a dreary day.
This was quite good! I didn't really like either/or first time I heard it, but I appreciated the depth the electric added here. Nice song writing, all quite heartfelt, certainly will return
Better than expected, was a nice surprise. Would never play this myself, but I really enjoyed it
Goede achtergrondmuziek, vanaf je echt luistert naar de muziek, blijkt het ook een heel erg aangename vibe te hebben, 3,5 neigend naar de 4
Je n'avais pas tilté que L.A. est en fait dans Guitar Hero 5 ! ^^
Nem sabia que eu curtia Elliott Smith
Elliot Smith en su zenit vital y artístico. Paradójicamente, suena en su final más luminoso que nunca.
Quite enjoyed it, laid back style
heard this a million times on xfm in 2000 - never in this context - like it more thn i thought i would
Me gustó aunque suena a The Beatles, solo que menos happy, más sad (?). Podría ser soundtrack de una indie movie
I could see myself listening to this again and enjoying it. It's a little bit moody at times.
Poppig, a gewisse Power Nettes einher Songwriter Ding, manchmal Anklänge von Dylan und bowie
I liked it! Again, more than I thought I would. Definitely some bangers on this album. Overall great songwriting.
Ah Elliott Smith, leged died too soon. Stupidity tries, mooie outro. STERK album, 4.5. half puntje verloren omdat ik "Either/OR" al ken en dat vind ik net een sterker album. Dit is er wel eentje dat ge eens geluisterd moet hebben en dat ik nog wel zou durven opzetten.
reminds me of paper mache dream balloon
Figure 8 lo conoscevo già, ma non l'avevo mai approfondito. Però questo ascolto me l'ha fatto riscoprire. Quindi il mio giudizio è positivo. Elliott Smith rimane un autore particolare e sensibile, il suo più che un genere musicale è uno stato d'animo, e onestamente ho come i sensi di colpa a dargli un voto. Unico neo: lui ha questa caratteristica di scrivere minimo 15 pezzi per album e penso che per valutarli bene sarebbe utile avere più tempo per ascoltarli, leggere e capire i testi. In questo caso, 16 tracce, anche dopo averle ascoltate un paio di volte non le ricordo tutte. Alcune però mi hanno colpito, in particolare "Everything means nothing to me" perché durante la mia esperienza di infermiere in terapia intensiva durante la pandemia mi sono sentito spesso così.
The best musician Portland has ever had. Been listening to him for nearly 20 years now, and I will always listen to him. Heartbroken at his loss.
I enjoyed this a lot though it was really sad at parts. It gave me a the Beatles vibe, and I really liked the tasteful hard rock elements sprinkled throughout. One of my favorite songs was stupidity tries.
September 6, 2021 Never heard of him before but this is solid! I like the mixture of softer and more aggressive tracks. Nice production. Some standout tracks ("Wouldn't Mama Be Proud", "I Better Be Quiet Now")
Liked this album a lot!
Gorgeous songs, artful arrangements. Moody, sometimes haunting lyrics sung sweetly. It's heavy listening to Smith because we know how this story ends. But the album stands on its own as a beautifully crafted work. Fave Songs: Somebody that I Used to Know, Everything Means Nothing to Me, Son of Sam, Can't Make a Sound
This is good. Reminds me of Badly Drawn Boy or even Bright Eyes. This is a sound that I think other singers definitely emulated. These songs are beautiful, catchy, and thoughtful. I never knew Elliott Smith and I am saddened by his tragic ending. I will certainly seek out more by this artist and it's a shame he's not here to perform live anymore.
Was surprised at the progressive and 90's rock influences in this album. Not what I expected based on what I had heard from ES before
Good album. Added to saved. Some song are too slow and, not to say whiny, but something like that. Overall enjoyable though. Good for listening while reading
What a unique song writer. Very talented. Really good songs. Tragic story.
Normally before I write the overall review here, I make my decision and then check the global reviews section. The top upvoted review is probably the best example of a relationship with the music of Elliot Smith. I liked this one a lot, solid piece of music.
Ping BabyChmafma, fantastiskt album! Delvis överraskande poppigt, som i öppningslåten Son Of Sam. Texterna och de teman som avhandlas är mörka. Död kärlek, depression, meningslöshet, och en generell apati mot livet. Trots det finns det i melodierna ett sorts blandat vemod, det är inte helmörk gothrock, det finns ändå indie-singer-songwriter-ljus i låtarna. Kanske är det just det som gör låtarna ännu mer drabbande, Elliott Smith är mästerlig på att skapa melodier som balanserar mellan hopplöshet och hoppfullhet, mellan liv och död. När hans eget extrema personliga mörker tas i beaktande skapas något oändligt vackert. Ett exempel på hur hemsökt Smiths psyke var av droger och depression är historien om hur en av albumets bästa låtar, Everything Means Nothing to Me, kom till. Tydligen ska Elliott ha varit trött på pressen från skivbolaget, hur folk pratade med honom om framtiden och hans destruktivitet. Då ska han under en psykos med kniv ha karvat in ordet "now" i armen, för att sedan sätta sig vid pianot och skriva ovan nämnda låt, med blodet droppandes längs armarna. Bästa låt: Väljer två. 1: Everything Means Nothing to Me, p.g.a. anledningarna ovan, samt hur trummorna exploderar in i låten halvvägs, medan Elliott mässar om livets meningslöshet. 2: Everything Reminds Me Of Her, som innehåller allt jag förväntade mig av en Elliott Smith-låt, en enkel, drabbande, och avskalad melodi om hjärtesorg.
I was really digging this for the first half of the record, but it really starts to drag after a while. Regardless, there are some really good songs on here that I will keep in rotation. I would rate this between 3 and 4, but rounding up to 4 because I would easily listen to it again.
Better than I expected, very tuneful - will listen again. More hints at the Beatles than I expected
Origins of the 'indie' sound perhaps? Reminicent of The Beatles.
Not heard anything by this artist so this album was as surprise. An excellent set of songs from an anguished soul.
Another great album from this guy. I like the pained lyrics and honesty in his voice. This LP is more produced than Either/Or and sounds downright upbeat at one point. After the first few songs I was thinking 5 but I don't think it ends as strong as it begins.
Brilliant lyricists who are arrogant or crass are irritating but are accepted because it often comes with the territory and we just have to take the good with the bad. Every so often we are graced with an artist like Elliott Smith who was a powerful lyricist and was also humble. When he is upset at someone he was in a relationship with he doesn't say "You ain't nothing but a hound dog". Rather, he uses the cultivated and more powerful insult: "You're just somebody that I used to know."
Hadn't heard of Elliott Smith before this - hearing this album has made me want to look up more of his work.
I came in to this expecting it to just be acoustic, whispered suicidal song but was pleasantly surprise by the energy and variety of the first few tracks. It did end up settling down to a rather somber tone in the second half but certainly gave more than I was expecting.
8/10 great album, might up my score with a further listen.
This is fucking good. Great, great album, but I don't really have anything to connect it to, somehow. Almost every song is crazy beautiful, but I feel like i can't give it a 5. Like it's 100% a fivestarrateable- album, I just don't feel love towards it. :/
I really enjoyed this on a first listen. Some lovely tunes and a great voice. I'll come back to this one.
People love this guy. I didn't get into it when I should have probably. I always think it sounds so good. This record is great but I don't care. Even though, on paper, it's a record I should love. Why? Because somebody said once that he's basically a one-man Beatles. It doesn't sound like that to me. It's excellent, but don't put that on him. It's like Oasis claiming to be like the Beatles. No they aren't! They're great, but it doesn't sound like the Beatles. And, if I go in expecting that, I'll be disappointed. Or, maybe it just becomes a distraction. Clearly it is, I'm talking more about the Beatles in this review than Elliott Smith's seminal record Figure 8! Anyway, this record. The instrumentation and arrangements are a 5/5. His voice is a 3/5 because it's too woozy and lacks the Charisma I want it to have. 4/5 ain't bad.
Subdued. I got "Either/Or" previously, and found myself enjoying this one a bit more. I like it when the full band comes onto a track. At certain points, a little bland. Call it a 3.5. Favorite tracks: "Son of Sam", "L.A.", "Happiness", "Can't Make A Sound"
Det får en svag fyra, det är lite för långt tycker jag.
Quite enjoyed, had never heard of him. Reminded me a bit of teenage fanclub
ethereal pop, solid lyrics
A nice album
Surprisingly rollicking Lovely piano "Everything means nothing to me" "Morning had to come, I'd be walking in the sun, living in the day, but last night I was about to throw it all away" It's such a hard day's night And I've become a dog
Excellent Elliott Smith album, with very pleasant-sounding songs - I listened to it a lot at the time, as it is very easy to put the album on repeat. I am still a bit surprised to see the album in the list though, as it is basically a repeat of his previous albums - same style, same high-quality songs, same way of singing etc., which is certainly fine, but given that the 5-star album Either/Or is in the list as well, it is like having the same album in the list twice. ****
Really liked this, some cool songs. Never heard of him before.
4.3 + This might be my favorite Elliot Smith record and it's funny to me how underrated it is critically. Clearly Smith's pigeonholed into this persona of a depressive heroine addict living at the margins, à la "Needle in the Hay." And to be sure, he helped cultivate that image. But beyond the "honesty" and "intimacy" of his music, he was consistently a terrific songwriter, capable of penning pretty pop songs with catchy hooks. This record may not have the grime of "Either/Or" but the evolution towards a poppier sound makes this record just as worthwhile. Songs like "Everything Reminds Me of Her" and "Somebody That I Used to Know" are among my favorites of his.
This is a really good album, not quite as good as Either/or, but there are some really good songs. 4 🌟
- very nice, beatlesque harmonies, i really like the piano - i guess it is depressing but, hey, thats what songs are for - yeah, he died, makes the music a little more bitterweet
Throughout enjoyable album. Really like their voice and style, very calming, though a couple of songs were the tempo increases and the music gets heavier but works really well. "Son of Sam" and "Happiness/ The Gondola Man" my favourite tracks.
I swear this guys meant to be super, super depressing: The album starts with son of sam, it’s a good song. Much more energetic than I thought the instrumentation especially is class. My only problem is those backing vocals. Next is somebody that I used to know it’s okay just a little acoustic song and I really don’t like his vocals on here. Junk bond trader, is quite cool it still carries on the annoying vocals but it’s instrumentally the best. Everything reminds me of her is a nice acoustic song good stuff but not a favourite. Everything means nothing to me is a haunting piano song and is the only one so far which compliments his whiny autotune vocals. L.A. Is one of the most energetic ones so far yeah I really like it for what it is should’ve been a single. In the lost and found ( honky Bach) is okay really just a nice piano song haunting like everything reminds me of her but with a a cool bridge in the middle. The roost is just a small instrumental strain after I don’t get the point but it’s alright. Next is stupidity tries, it’s good vaguely Beatles-y but not ripping off. This has a great exploding fist of a chorus. Maybe a top track. Easy way out is really good another slower creepier songs but not a favourite. Wouldn’t mama be proud is good it started as my least favourite initially but it’s grown a bit not my favourite but still really enjoyable. Colorbars is okay it feels a bit un-needed in a super long album but I still quite like it. Then is happiness it’s really good, great intro great piano work nice subtle guitar works and near amazing lyrics, yeah so nice song maybe a favourite!Then the gondola man another unnecessary instrumental like the roost.eh! Pretty Mary kay is a great slow but still punchy song, works so amazingly on this project! I better be quiet now is such a sweet slow song not my favourite but still really nice and good lyrics. Can’t make a sound has to be my favourite slower song great everything and a great slow builder nearly the perfect closer. Bye is just some sad little instrumental makes sense as a little coda for the album. I would’ve shortened it to 13 tracks but it’s still really good!
Beautiful and sad. Exactly the album you need in your twenties as you take punches from life, sort through hangovers, and wonder about all the possibilities. Figure 8 is for when you need to stretch through newly healed skin after the scab has fallen off.
Good listen, soft but powerful vocals, lush production. Enjoyed the first track especially. Will definitely be revisiting.
Solid lyrics and chill vibe
The fifth and final (in his lifetime) studio album for Elliot Smith. The "Figure 8" title was taken from the Schoolhouse Rock TV show and is a reference to the endless pursuit of perfection. Smith's music can be described as power pop with very well constructed and arranged songs. On this album, the lead instruments switch between acoustic guitar, electric guitar and piano. Strings are sometimes used to accompany. Despite his struggles with depression and addiction, the lyrics and music are mostly happy with the content ranging from autobiographical (fame, relationships, depression, drug issues), relationships in general and possibly stories. He does leave a lot open for interpretation and multiple meanings. I've always liked Elliot Smith and there is a lot to like here. But the flipside, there are 16 songs and this is a lot of Elliot Smith. The album starts with "Son of Sam" and its rolling piano, nice guitar solo and, I think, a song about self-discovery, both good and bad. Elliot Smth had moved to LA and one of my favorite songs is "L.A." with its straight-forward rock/pop and a great guitar chorus. It appears to be a happy song. "Stupidity Ties" has a nice arrangement and atmosphere and has an interesting premise: if make yourself stupid you forget about the impossible. Overall, this is a very good album, maybe lengthy though. I do think his previous two albums, "XO" and "Either/Or" are better.
The cover of "Because" (Deluxe Edition) is the perfect synthesis of past and present. Pseuds' Corner observation over.
first listen lovely work
Was really enjoying this album and kept thinking why don't I know this...I think it was because when I heard the name I thought he was a teen angst type singer songwriter... man, that was my bad preconception that kept me from listening to a really good album...
This was the most Jon Briton album that Jon never produced. I had skipped a lot of Elliott’s music back in the day, thinking it was another weepy folk guy. This proves me wrong. Great record.
Solid moody folk. Not my favorite from Smith, but it's definitely up there in terms of quality. I think this is my rainy day music, where I'm curling up with a good book and a huge cup of tea, and my cat is next to me.
Not sure how I missed Aretha but I will have to check that one out. Sounds like a winner. Anyway, I have a theory, based on no evidence whatsoever, that if you were shipwrecked on an island with Elliott Smith and a single acoustic guitar you could’ve told him, “Hey man, we’ve been on this island for a few days now and I’m hungry, exhausted, and starting to wonder if we’ll ever get home. Could you spare me the sad songs and, I don’t know, write a dirty, funny one about a mermaid or something?” And then a few hours later you’d hear the dirtiest, funniest, and best song about a mermaid ever. I really like this one. I wish it was a bit shorter, but that feels like a shitty thing to complain about of someone who’s dead. Which still sucks to this day.
New to Elliott Smith and now I wish I wasn't. This is great pop-oriented indie strongly reminiscent of the first Big Star album. I love that, so it's natural I like this too! A smidge more concision wouldn't go amiss, but there is some really strong, interesting songwriting here and some really cool textures in the sound.
This is another group of songs - kind of like The Stranger - where every song grabs me somehow. I like that he's stretching a bit on this one - the songs sound a little more open, they sound like they're in a room full of people instead of just you and Smith in his basement. Which I also like, but... This isn't my favorite Elliott Smith, but it's pretty damn strong.
I met Elliot’s art with the movie The Royal Tenembaums with his music on a scene that sacrifices logic and even the story line for great visual and sound impact… after that I devoured his music always finding the melancholy overwhelming. I’m not gonna say I’m an avid listener but I’m glad I know his art
I wasn't familiar with Elliot Smith's work before so I had no preconceived notion of what to expect. I did learn recently, however, that a favourite artist of mine, Phoebe Bridgers, was a huge fan. Knowing her music very well and listening to this I get it. I really enjoyed this album, although it could have been shorter to have a stronger impact since I felt it dragged a bit. Nonetheless, his music is interesting and definitely want to explore his discography a bit more.
There's more variation across tracks here than you might expect from our beloved indie sadboy. Multi-instrument orchestration and punchy drums alternating with mellow fingerpicking and piano doodles. Even lyrically: in one song Elliott is urging you to "Sell it while you can," and confessing in the next that "Everything reminds me of her." Our guy is using confessional lyrics to play with different personas. You feel like you know 'Elliott' but this is a sophisticated bit of theatre -- it's clever and I dig it. There's experimental variation *within* some standout songs as well: see the Beatlesish bars that open Son of Sam before the song becomes something much more contemporary, something very 90s. I also liked Everything Means Nothing To Me (beautifully distressing combo of piano, strings, drums, vocals); Stupidity Tries (bluesy, tragicomically triumphant, an end credits kind of song); Happiness/The Gondola Man (perfect short story with perfectly matched arrangement); Can't Make A Sound (just for the sonic crescendo from the midpoint that I was not expecting at all and that makes it, I think, a better ending track than Bye). The problem with rating an Elliott Smith album is it's very hard to stay objectively critical, at least for me. Most if not all of the songs are very appealing in a simple and direct way. All the guy really needs is his voice and lyrics and a guitar to sound like the last thing you want to hear tonight and every night. My brain knows this album could have been tighter and some of the tracks didn't need to be here, or should have been put in a different order. I found myself feeling a little lost sometimes, specially on the B side, but lost in a comfortable way. This isn't a flawless album but I could listen to it from beginning to end just randomly and feel something when it's done -- even though I've heard it before and know it's a little messy, a little flawed. I want to give this a 5 but am holding back.
Not his best work, but Elliott Smith is Elliott Smith…
Much more balanced, instant and accessible than 'Either Or' (and much less like being punched in the gut). Musically (comparatively) bold with a mix of sad, optimistic, introspective and dreamy lyrics. I like it. Rating: 3.5/5 Playlist track: Son Of Sam Date listened: 20/07/22
There's no surprise that Elliott Smith is a fantastic singer/songwriter. His soft-yet-impactful culmination of sound with a band backing him packs a real punch, I think it's great. Really doesn't feel like there's a bad song on here. It's just a lot of songs, I found it a bit hard to digest. Will need to reslisten because it was wonderful otherwise.
Not too bad! Good sounds.
3.7 - a bit more update of an approach for Smith, which detracts a bit. But still a solid album with great lyrics, calm vocals and good rhythm.
I have not listened to this since college but I remember loving the first 6 tracks but cant remember the back half of the album at all. Probably because I didnt really enjoy the end of it. Track 2 is still incredible the way his voice sounds with the guitar.
Not for everyday but delightful
crying in the club rn
Very indie and chill pop vibes, really enjoyed
Elliott is many people's sad boy of choice, and I won't begrudge them that, he was a terrific songwriter, even if my heart belonged to others. This is a good album, but it doesn't contain too many of my favorite tracks of his. I think I prefer his more stripped-down tracks to the orchestral sound he played with here. Still, some of the tracks here really cut. B
Pretty good. I was never a fan of Miss Misery when it got super popular, but this album surprised me. Looks like I need to chase down some more Elliott Smith.
Really liked this one. Good piano, great blues song in there too.
Indie rock, 2000. This is absolutely one of the most brilliant indie records of the early 2000s because of its great productions and very interesting songs. Smooth album, cleverly composed, quite an experience.
Upbeat for Smith, or at least energetic tunes.
Voelt alsof ik alle nummers al ken en bij me horen.