Music: An Introduction To... by Elliott Smith ***
Published 12/11/2010 | 05:00
The star-rating above is not, in any way, intended to find fault in the late singer's body of work. Mr Misery -- a tag his fans hate -- released exceptional songs that have grown with time, becoming all the more resonant because of his untimely death in 2003.
My problem is with the song selection, which is skewed in favour of his earlier material which, while raw and defiantly lo-fi, for me don't match the magical compositions of his final albums, XO and Figure 8. (From a Basement on the Hill was released posthumously.)
That said, there's plenty to appreciate here, not least a sparse, powerful early version of Miss Misery, the striking quality of his debut single, Needle in the Hay and a sensitive new mix of Angel in the Snow.
Burn it: Miss Misery; Needle in the Hay