Elliott Smith – Either/Or (1997)
I’ve always admired the Do-it-yourself (DIY) album. Foo Fighters was essentially a Dave Grohl album, as he provided all but one guitar part (which I’m sure he would have been quite capable of playing himself).
Recorded at a much lower overall volume, Either/Or is entirely Elliott Smith.
The main complaint of DIY records is that they might be enhanced by having specialists. Sure one person may competently drum/play bass, guitar, sing but why not bring in session players, each excelling at a single instrument? This complaint is moot here as the lo-fi vibe is a key selling point; polishing these songs any further would only diminish their quality and impact.
Elliott Smith’s third album is an excellent album, featuring two great tracks in particular, Ballad of Big Nothing and Rose Parade.
I recently learned a few of the other tunes were used in the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, a film I’m now inspired to revisit. Or at least the Community episode that references the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4WTkG4s0tU
Either way, to paraphrase Matt Damon’s character and his famous question, how do I like (these) them apples? A great deal.
A hauntingly addictive record.