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New Moon

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Audio CD, May 8, 2007
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Product Description

New Moon is a 2-CD/2-LP posthumous compilation album by Elliott Smith, released on May 8, 2007 by Kill Rock Stars. It contains 24 previously unreleased songs recorded between 1994 and 1997, when Smith recorded his albums Elliott Smith and Either/Or, both also released by Kill Rock Stars.

When Elliott Smith died late in 2003, he took with him one of the unique songwriting gifts of his generation: part folk grandeur, part punk fury, and virtually bottomless in eight short years of solo recordings. Thankfully for that generation, and many to come, he left behind two dozen songs that his Portland, Oregon, producer and pal Larry Crane has crafted into a retrospective celebration of Smith's contribution to music. Mostly house-recorded demos plucked from the fertile three years that followed his 1994 debut Roman Candle (including an early take of "Miss Misery"), there's an eminent clarity to these songs that makes them sound like they were recorded yesterday. A lone acoustic guitar is the general accompaniment to Smith's lamenting wail, his self-deprecating lyrics forever a contrast to the sheer beauty of the melodies. "What are you doing hanging out with me?" he asks in "Whatever (Folk Song in C)," his double-tracked harmonies mocking both Simon and Garfunkel. Along with fragile versions of "Angel in the Snow," "Looking over My Shoulder," and a cover of Big Star's "Thirteen," it's as eternal as anything Smith offered when he was with us, and, as one of several shining moments, makes you forget he ever left. --Scott Holter

More from Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith

Roman Candle


Figure 8


From a Basement on a Hill

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Angel In The Snow 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Talking To Mary 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. High Times 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. New Monkey 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Looking Over My Shoulder 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Going Nowhere 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Riot Coming 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. All Cleaned Out 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. First Timer 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Go By 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Miss Misery (Early Version) 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Thirteen 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Georgia, Georgia 1:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Whatever (Folk Song In C) 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Big Decision 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Placeholder 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. New Disaster 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Seen How Things Are Hard 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Fear City 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Either/Or 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Pretty Mary K (Other Version) 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Almost Over 2:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. See You Later 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Half Right 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Kill Rock Stars
  • ASIN: B000OMD4BG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,545 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on May 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If EITHER/OR, ELLIOTT SMITH & XO are his best albums, I'd say NEW MOON is 4th in line. Longtime fans, need no persuading, but this probably isn't the best place to start. This is after all, an over-generous collection of outtakes. True, they lack the Brian Wilson-like arrangements of his last 3 albums. But the lo-fi quality here is far from sub-par. Without a doubt, the folks at KRS put this together with love & care.

For my money, Smith was undoubtedly, one of the finest songwriters to emerge from the mid 90's. In terms of angst & heartache, he all too quietly pulled the rug out from under Kurt Cobain. Suffice it to say, all the songs here are terrific. Vintage Elliott Smith. Catchy Beatleseque hooks, intimate vocals. Audio butterscotch. Smith's unique playing style is on full display, especially on "Seen How Things Are Hard".

Recorded between 1994-97, Smith was probably wise to leave these songs off his official releases. Not because the the songs were bad. But one gets the sense that his best albums would have been less so with their inclusion. Fortunately for fans, they all work so well together here. Sequencing is half the battle on things like this & folks here have done a fine job. Nothing feels particularly thrown together last minute.

Highlights include, the fragile, "Angel In The Snow" and the bleak, "All Cleaned Out". The early version of "Pretty Mary K" outshines its eventual incarnation on FIGURE 8. And it's nice to finally hear the title track of "Either/Or". Oddly enough, the last 2 tracks ("See You Later" and "Half Right") act as more of a fitting fond farewell than nearly all of FROM A BASEMENT ON THE HILL.

Like much of Smith's classic work, alot of the songs herein evoke a similar mood to that found on Nick Drake's PINK MOON.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Barnaby Thieme on May 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many (but not all) of these songs have been circulating on the internet for the last several years, raising the question of whether or not this album is worth the purchase price. The answer is an unqualified yes. Having heard rough cuts of many of these songs, my jaw hit the floor when I heard how beautifully they've been remastered. The songs sparkle and gleam, and hidden complexities of Smith's virtuouso guitar work leap melodically forth from this stupendous collection.

The often-unaccompanied singing/guitar work of these songs most nearly recalls the work on his self-titled album. These are not second-rate tunes that were dredged up for release - some of these songs are as good as anything he released during his tragically-short career. "Angel in the Snow", "Looking Over My Shoulder", and "Georgia, Georgia" are immediate standouts that will surely join the top ranks of his corpus.

This is a magnificent parting gift from one of the greatest musical minds of his generation, and an absolute treasure.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tommy M. on May 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Perhaps only Elliott Smith could generate an album's worth of "outtakes" and "rarities" that stand alongside even his most powerful work. At worst, New Moon is graceful. At its best, it's mesmerizing. The more I listen to this album, the more I think no one quite comes close to his balance of restraint, passion, intimacy, and splashes of baroque intensity. Not Samuel Beam, not David Gray, and certainly not the chronically overwrought Damien Rice. I think only Sufjan Stevens is on this level. And Smith didn't even think this stuff worthy of an album! The mind reels.

Gorgeous guitar work, the classic doubled vocals (sometimes harmonized, even)... the "right beside you" sound is arresting at times. Ironically, the strength of this album *as* an album is the variety, where before Smith's releases were each notably unified in tone; this sometimes pushed his work to the brink of homogeneity.

This guy was a folkie for the 21st Century. Like any great posthumous release, New Moon celebrates his strengths, over and over again. If there were any doubts, I think this one seals the deal. It's a keeper. It is quite unfortunate that the source of his genius was also apparently the source of his greatest darkness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve G on May 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
When a musician dies way too young as is the case with Elliott Smith, there is always a fear of their legacy being tarnished. For us on the outside we have no idea of what Elliott's wishes were. It was clear that others had to make some decisions before they released "From a Basement On the Hill" so I think it's safe to assume that the songs on the new release "New Moon" were also left behind with no clear cut idea to what Elliott wanted done with them. Being a fan and loving his music the way I do I would hope that where ever he is, he realizes that these songs are being released for the right reasons. And reason number one is because they are damn good! This is not a 2 cd set of scraps and bottom of the barrel material that he saw unfit to release. But it's a glimpse into the soul of a brilliant and troubled guy who had something to say on many different levels. Many of these songs have been making the rounds between fans for the last couple of years but many times they were of poor sound quality. So it's nice to have cleaned up versions of gems like "Placeholder" and "Going Nowhere". The two highlights for me were "First Timer" and "All Cleaned Out". If you don't get a chill down your spine when the sweet double-tracked vocals come in on "First Timer" then you have no soul in my opinion. The hardest thing with a release like this is that it brings back all of those feelings of why?? As in why did he leave us so soon. There is talk that there is plenty more left in the vaults so maybe over the next few years we might get to hear what else was on his mind. It's amazing that songs recorded over 10 years ago by an artist that most people don't know have more soul and meaning then any multi-platinum flavor of the day garbage you hear today. I feel sorry for those who have never heard an Elliott Smith song or album as they are really missing out on something special.

Thanks Again Elliott

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