News flash: Elliott Smith's first posthumous album is not a 15-song suicide note, and it's a lot more meaningful if you don't try to hear it that way. Drawn from a three-year pile of recordings he'd left mostly finished at the time of his death, it's actually one of his least despairing records — or, rather, despair's something he's recognizing from a distance. "Pretty (Ugly Before)" is a song about realizing that he's not in a bad psychological place anymore; "Don't Go Down" is a portrait of someone "hard and as cracked as the Liberty Bell" that he's trying to pull up into the sunlight. It's not like he'd given up on the drunken dark nights of the soul that were his great subject, but he'd realized that his strengths weren't the ways he could articulate dissolution, they were his perfect, fragile, blown-glass melodies and his murmuring, confessional singing voice. From a Basement. . . is also his most inventively produced album, tremulous and un-slick in a way his records had rarely been since the early years, but full of subtle, fleeting textures and details — not much on it quite sounds like a loner with a guitar, or a star with a band. He had a lot left to say.
By Lindsay Hood on 10.17.14 in News
Greetings! Top of the Morning is your daily AM news round-up. We paid attention overnight while you were sleeping and gathered relevant tidbits to share over that first cup of coffee. U2 addressed the recent criticism...
By Jordan Cronk on 09.03.14 in Features
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By Andrew Parks on 04.30.14 in News
So you're probably wondering what Elliott Smith and Action Bronson are doing in the same Wondering Sound post. The reason is simple: We figured you'd need a little levity after watching the minor-keyed trailer for Heaven...
By Dave Sumner on 07.25.13 in Lists
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