Review of An Introduction to. Elliott Smith Album by Elliott Smith

This isn't the first Elliott Smith compilation released after the artists tragic death and it certainly won't be the last. One thing that isn't up for debate is the quality of the songs featured. Ballad of Big Nothing, one of Smith's most mainstream sounding pieces of work, is as fresh sounding as it ever was, 'introducing' Elliott Smith in the most prefect of ways.

Featuring songs from all of his seven albums, this collection acts as a reminder to those that own some of his albums of just what a high quality song writer he was. Tracks such as Needle in the Hay deserve to be heard by far more that just hardcore Elliott Smith fans. If that can be achieved by the release of this album then talk of record company cash-ins become immediately irrelevant.

Elliott Smith An Introduction to. Elliott Smith Album

What becomes evident throughout a listen to Introducing. is just how impressive it is to for one artist and an acoustic guitar to sound so fresh and intriguing with each coming track. How many other artists could appear so relevant after seven albums? The answer is simply. Not too many.

Sure there are tracks missing here that deserve a place, but isn't that always the case with compilations? I'm pretty sure it's done on purpose, giving a perfect excuse for a further release, on the flip side, choosing 14 perfect tracks from a seven album back catalogue is nothing but a thankless task. It is somewhat surprising though, that the song Roman Candle itself hasn't been included, but credit where credits due for the selection of the immensely heartfelt Twilight, surely one of Smith's best ballads, in fact surely one of THE best ballads. It's worth a listen for this gem alone.

Hopefully this is a body of work that will do as it says on the tin - introducing younger music fans that might not be familiar with his immensely impressive back catalogue but may have heard the name. This is a brief and concise yet thoughtful collection of Elliott Smiths best work.

Sam Marland

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