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Elliott Smith|XO

XO

Elliott Smith

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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. An Oscar nomination can change things, however. "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 DreamWorks, 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. 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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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XO

Elliott Smith

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1
Sweet Adeline
00:03:15

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Tomorrow Tomorrow
00:03:07

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Waltz #2 (XO)
00:04:40

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Baby Britain (Album Version)
00:03:13

Larry Crane, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Mixer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Joanna Bolme, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Pitseleh
00:03:22

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Independence Day
00:03:04

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Bled White Explicit
00:03:22

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Waltz #1
00:03:22

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Amity
00:02:20

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Crane, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Oh Well, OK
00:02:33

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Bottle Up And Explode!
00:02:58

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
A Question Mark
00:02:41

Tom Rothrock, Producer - Rob Schnapf, Producer - Elliott Smith, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands Explicit
00:04:25

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
I Didn't Understand Explicit
00:02:17

Tom Rothrock, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Schnapf, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Smith, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

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. An Oscar nomination can change things, however. "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 DreamWorks, 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. 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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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