Elliott Smith - Figure 8 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Elliott Smith - Figure 8

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2000-04-17

The death of the singer/songwriter (someone for whom an acoustic gig was an everyday event, not some MTV-style special occasion) has been inevitable for some time, so releases like Figure 8 should be cherished. With no obvious singles, no clear fashion statement and nothing but a handful of melodies, a paper-thin voice and a piano or guitar for protection, it's clear that Elliott Smith is living on borrowed time. This is a shame, because--like Bernard Butler--Dallas, Texas born Elliott, after four solo albums, is only just finding his feet. Mixing peace loving folk ("Everything Reminds Me Of Her"), drugged up ramblings ("Everything Means Nothing To Me") and honky-tonk tales of serial killers ("Son Of Sam"), this makes for some pretty special listening. Figure 8, like his much acclaimed album XO before it, is a mess of beauty, ingenuity and slight insanity. If the days of the singer/songwriter are drawing to a close, this album is one hell of a way to remember them. --Dan Gennoe

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