Today it's been a decade since Elliott Smith died. As I said at the time (or Stephanie did), you really have to want to go to go that way.
His fans are legion, and loyal. I came to the party (probably poor word choice there) late, absorbing every syllable and note of XO during my first year in Chicago. And later. And even later.
Is it the best break-up album ever? I say it's the best post- and post-post, and starting-to-feel-stronger-every-day-post- and wow-what-a-distant-memory-but-this-reminds-me-I-did-it post-breakup album.
I know the album is the death knell of...something, the dreaded major-label debut, but if anything, Elliott's Big Sellout gives him more tools to be even better. The production is not too much, and I think I have a pretty decent over-production bullsheet sensor.
Every track takes a mask off of betrayal and renewal. I'll ponder that more, after a visit to the online store.
It was hard to decide, but this one has always meant the most: