Home > Entertainment > Music
  print button email button

Friday, May 11, 2007

LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS

RECORDED

Elliott Smith "New Moon"


Mystery still surrounds the death of Elliott Smith. Was it his own hand that plunged a knife twice into his chest at home on Oct. 21, 2003, or someone else's? While Smith may not have left a suicide note to clear things up, he did leave an awful lot of unreleased material — like a singer-songwriter version of rapper Tupac.

"New Moon" comprises mostly demos and outtakes from the runup to 1997's "Either/Or," the album that bridged Smith's early bedroom acoustica and later full-band fare. By their nature, these are songs that he considered unfit for release on an album.

That's not to say they're rubbish — far from it. This double-CD collects some of the best of Smith's innumerable leftovers: the melancholic "Angel in the Snow," the rough-and-ready jingle-jangle of "Seen How Things Are Hard," and "New Monkey," which contains the (probably unintentional) innuendo "Busy shaking hands with my monkey." Other highlights are a great cover of Big Star's "Thirteen" and an early take on "Miss Misery" with work-in-progress lyrics. Then again, many songs really are non-starters and their exclusion would've made for a lean, cohesive single disc — maybe even one that stood up to Smith's six impeccable studio albums.



Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.