US - Oregon - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 24 - 10/05/98
I just missed Elliott Smith opening for Ben Folds Five and Beck in an open-air amusement park up-state
New York earlier this year. Or, did I? I doubt Mr. Smith was there at all, because I thought I arrived early, just to
reach BFF midway through their set. Which means Mr. Smith must have entered and exited stage before 6
o'clock!? Anyway, I didn't know Elliott Smith by then, except from hearing his contributions in the box-office
hit movie Good Will Hunting. Elliott Smith - a name to remember.
XO is his 4th album, after releasing Roman Candle (Cavity Search 1994), Elliott
Smith (Kill Rock Stars 1995), and Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars 1997). Now he's been signed by
Dreamworks, trying to present him for a bigger audience. And he deserves it. Elliott Smith writes excellent,
honest pop-songs, and it seems like he's been playing most of the instruments himself. He can be singing a quiet
ballad for in the next moment being into some slightly 70's inspired pop-rock. Ben Folds Five is maybe someone
to compare with. Except there isn't that much piano. Crowded House and Big Star could also be mentioned after
hearing some of his songs.
XO is a varied album, but the standard is high all the way. Personally I'd like to mention songs like
Waltz #1 (one of two waltzes on the album!), Bottle Up And Explode!, Tomorrow
Tomorrow, and; the ballad of the year when it comes to sad love songs; I Didn't Understand.
XO stands for something special. Have a taste!
Copyright © 1998 Håvard Oppøyen