‘Either/Or’ tragic and beautiful
Released in 1997, Elliott Smith’s “Either/Or” has quickly ascended the ranks of my top albums list (no easy feat).
While his guitar-playing is great, a more prominent reason for the greatness of this album is Smith’s voice. Smith seems to lower the volume of his voice, almost to a whisper, in order to reach a level of beauty never before heard by the listener.
The vocals convey a bittersweet mood throughout the album.
Songs like “Say Yes” and “Punch and Judy” start out in happy enough tones, but they turn tragic when you’d least expect it. On top of all of this, each song is short and relatively catchy.
The style of music is hard to label here, as the most applicable genre would be pop/rock, but if you listen to Smith, and compare his sound to other pop/rock artists, you’ll find that they are completely different.
If you’re looking to go on an emotional journey like no other with a man and his guitar, give “Either/Or” a listen. You might find that your ears would thank me.
- Reviewed by ANDY RUSER, Dallastown Area High School