I love XO. Being one of my favourite albums ever, I’m so pleased that it’s this Smith album that the 33 1/3 folks decided to feature. It’s surprising as well. I guess since it was arguably Smith’s most commercial release (out on Dreamworks, hitting mainstream radio and earning a Saturday Night Live appearance) I would have imagined Either/Or being the record of choice for this project. Music critics tend to be purists and Either/Or is certainly the best of lo-fi Smith, whereas XO clearly marks an era of tighter production and a wider variety of instrumentation, most notably piano. Both releases are incredible, however XO is the better record.
One commenter at the 33third blog says it best:
At least one song from that album (mostly Baby Britain, though) has been in my head at some point just about weekly since 1999. And that includes year-plus periods when I didn’t even listen to it.
So… my newest Elliott Smith pursuit is on its way and I can’t wait to immerse myself in it. George Orwell, your 1984 will have to wait. (I know, can you believe I’ve never read 1984!? And I only just saw Bladerunner in the last couple of years. I’m filled with shame.)
p.s. If you’re an Elliott freak/geek like me, check out the recent Glorious Noise interview with Larry Crane, Elliott’s official archivist. Did you know there were alternate lyrics for Miss Misery?
Hat tip: sweetadeline.net