His sweetly dark melodies are vividly brought to life with the detailed arrangements, and they sell Smith's tormented songs -- it's easy to get caught up in the tunes and the sound of the record, then realize later what the songs are actually about.That's a sign of a good craftsman, and XO proves that not only can Elliott Smith craft a song, but he knows how to make an alluring pop record as well.
If you need a logon, choose the Register link and follow the instructions provided on the Real Me® website.For the better part of a century, New Zealand trade was joined with Great Britain at the hip.Great bales of wool, barrels of butter, and refrigerated shiploads of frozen carcasses made epic journeys across the world to feed and clothe the mother country.The relationship reached a peak in the 1930s, when almost 90 per cent of all New Zealand exports were shipped back "home".By 1970, Britain was still buying almost all of our butter and most of our cheese, but everything was about to change.
Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973.
Membership of the powerful new club required cutting existing trade ties with its antipodean offspring, and New Zealand was left out in the cold.
A year before his major-label debut, XO, was released, it seemed unlikely that Elliott Smith would even be on a major, let alone having his record be one of the more anticipated releases of 1998.
He had certainly earned a great deal of critical respect with his low-key, acoustic indie records and was emerging as a respected songwriter, but he hadn't made much of an impression outside of journalists, record collectors, and indie rockers. "Miss Misery," one of Smith's elegantly elegiac songs for Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting, unexpectedly earned an Academy Award nomination, and he was immediately thrust into the spotlight.
He was reluctant to embrace instant celebrity, yet he didn't refuse a contract with Dream Works, and he didn't shy away from turning XO into a glorious fruition of his talents.
Smith's songs remain intensely introspective, yet the lush, Beatlesque production provides a terrifically charming counterpoint.