Either/Or, Elliott Smith's third studio album.
A highly regarded indie folk album that sounds filled to the brim with mud, and feels filled to the brim with held back tears.
It opens with the track 'Speed Trails', which opens the album with a sound that gives you a small tear. As he sings about fleeting moments of happiness. 'Alameda' brings a dillema. It's about letting people in or not. Bringing down your own walls of protection to have connection, and if you do not do this you choose yourself to be alone. 'Ballad Of Big Nothing' has a much more up-beat sound, this is not matched by the lyrics. It is about an addict who seems to be hurting his brother with his habits. He goes on about how freedom is in this case an illusion, and does not matter if all they achieve in life is continue this habit. 'Between The Bars' brings the sound down to a more calmer point, it is Elliott talking to himself about his problems with drinking, and how he tries to get rid of his responsibility with it. It is one of the tragic tales he tells on this album. 'Pictures Of Me' is all about how he feels disrespected and represented in media. On 'No Name No. 5' he feels abandoned and alone by the people he trusted at one point. A general distrust towards people is shown. 'Rose Parade' is one of the most beatiful songs on the album. He goes on about an parade and how he thinks most of the things happening there are ridiclous and non-sensical. But he still proceeds to go along. 'Punch and Judy' feels like him remembering and regretting things in his childhood. With references to both puppet shows and his home town. Places and events with memories, and the pain that comes with those memories. Cursing out people that you can't even reach. 'Angeles' goes on about his shift to the professional music industry and fame, and moving out of his comfort zone and going to LA. During this shift the new light that gets on you, the shame and the intrusion into your life. 'Cupid's Trick' is known for being left off the vinyl release's lyric sheet. It is a beautiful song lyrically but even Elliott himself has stated that there was not a message in these lyrics, just the feeling from the instrumentals. It goes for a more rock sound than the other songs, which is a nice change of pace. '2:45 AM' goes into his problems with addiction, and has a bunch of his regrets with his herion use in it. The album ends with 'Say Yes' a song with lyrics so infectious you'll cry along with it every time. It is about his own heartbreak, and how he felt salvage his relationship. He felt like a girl that stayed after a one night stand. All he wants is love from her ex, he can't get her to say yes anymore.
It is one of the few albums with truly no bad song, every song brings a unique sound to the table that still fits in with the other songs. Unique changes in the way instruments are played and used, but there still being a clear and define-able cross-over between the songs. A very miserable cross-over. The general theme of misery is both sad and very human. It feels like a very human album. You feel his pain. This lays an instant connection to the listener, pain is one of the things which connects people. You listen to the music in both sympathy and joy. The pure pain in the music is enough to move yourself to be motivated and try to pick everything up again. Seeing other emotion helps you process your own. And the experience this album gives on that front is unmatched. The album reels you in with the amazing instrumentals but then hooks you with the pure emotion in the lyrical work. This album is of his works the best, and deserves recognition for many years to come.
Hi, sorry for being inactive on here. School's been feeding all of my time away. I have been getting better at trying to manage my time, so I'll try to keep up the posting!