New Moon

Studio Album by released in 2007
New Moon's tracklist:
Angel In The Snow
Talking To Mary
High Times
New Monkey
Looking Over My Shoulder
Going Nowhere
Riot Coming
All Cleaned Out
First Timer
Go By
Miss Misery (Early Version)
Thirteen
Georgia, Georgia
Whatever (Folk Song In C)
Big Decision
Placeholder
New Disaster
Seen How Things Are Hard
Fear City
Either/Or
Pretty Mary K (Other Version)
Almost Over
See You Later
Half Right

New Moon review

A priceless present to all Elliott Smith's fans

In spite of the fact that American musician, singer and songwriter Elliott Smith died four years ago, at the age of thirty-four, his musical legacy keeps reminding of him all the time. The solo career of this talented man who played various instruments from guitar to clarinet began back in 1994 but the primary success found him with song Miss Misery that became a soundtrack for film Good Will Hunting and was nominated for Oscar in 1998. As it happens to many musicians, Smith had problems with alcohol, drugs and suffered from depression, but unlike the others he never hid it and expressed all his feelings in his music and lyrics. One of the recording companies the singer was signed to is Kill Rock Stars, and it is the one that this year has made a priceless present to all Smith's fans – a posthumous compilation of his songs called New Moon. The album embraces Elliott Smith's creative work from 1994 to 1997, during which his acclaimed record Either/Or was released and consists mainly of previously unreleased material. New Moon is a clue to how some songs have been created and provides a clear idea of the musician's life during those years.

Pleasing, surprising and saddening album New Moon

The compilation consists of twenty-four songs only three of which have been previously released: the waltzing opener Angel In The Snow, dark composition See You Later and rather pessimistic Big Decision. All the rest present what Elliott Smith has for some reasons decided to leave apart the albums or just short sketches of future songs. Each of the tracks is filled with a certain emotion, although little of them are positive. Melancholic Talking To Mary refined by the musician's virtuoso guitar playing, New Monkey reminding of some The Beatles' works and depressing Going Nowhere are quite calm, while All Cleaned Out is a worthy example of Smith's favorite technique – multi-tracking harmonies. One of the biggest surprises for the fans is song Miss Misery (Early Version), for it is the earliest variant of the singer's most well-known work and the one that brought him fame. Another highlight is track Whatever (Folk Song In C): full of hidden nuances, half desperate and half hopeful, this song proves that Elliott Smith was a real master of lyrics and performance. Pretty Mary K (Other Version) is sure to please those who have heard the released variant of this song, and sad closer Half Right rich in witty metaphors leaves no doubt that Smith could express his thoughts in the most unusual ways.

The secrets of the past

Whichever songs Elliott Smith sang they became independent, endlessly creative works, real pieces of art, because he did it with the maximum of his feelings. Perhaps there is little positive in his lyrics (although some songs are quite optimistic) he is always frank, direct and witty. The way he created harmonies, his guitar playing, soft and confident at the same time, his unique vocals, ranging from calm to thin and hardly perceived pitch – all that and many other moments make Elliott Smith one of the best musicians of the past and present. A great number of people acknowledge that with his death the world of music got deprived of something irreplaceable, and this makes New Moon an invaluable collection of his rarities. Every song here sheds lights upon how the creative process worked, tells what worried the musician most of all at that period of his life. Listening to this compilation one unconsciously realizes that it is something much more significant than a mere collection of songs written mostly over ten years ago. In fact it is a most singular chance to touch the secrets of the past and find out just a little bit more of the strange and sullen person Elliott Smith was.

(22.05.2007)
Rate review4.61
Total votes - 13


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