Elliott Smith - New Moon

Ross Drummond 05/05/2007

Rating: 5/5

Elliott Smith in my opinion should be regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of our time, his tales of melancholy, love lost, sadness, loneliness have touched anyone who has ever suffered from any of them. His melodies were perfect, enough to stand up against the finest of McCartney's and Wilson's his lyrics too. Sadly though, until an oscar nomination for “Miss Misery” from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, his work went largely unnoticed. And with his untimely death on October 21st a hole for another songwriter who is truly brilliant has been left unfilled.

'New Moon' is a collection of out-takes, demoes and live recordings from his time with the Olympia based label Kill Rock Stars, a predominantly female label releasing records from Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill to name but a few. To be released on Domino Records in the UK although these are demoes and out-takes they are no less in quality than any of his officially released records. Elliott's output was indeed prolific his records being not calculated but merely a collection of the most recently written songs.

Each song on the album reminds us just why he is and was an essential songwriter. Haunting double tracked vocal and intricate yet delicate guitar work intwine creating the most perfect melancholic pop ever. New Moon should not be looked at as an out-takes record because it is much more than that. It's a demonstration at the genius and prolificness that Smith had. It's an artist ready to take his whisper quiet guitar pieces to Capitol studio's and turn them into orchestral pop masterpieces. It's a painful look at a troubled man with so much talent and so much sadness.

I miss you Elliott Smith.