Customer Reviews

51
New Moon
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$10.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 11, 2007
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. Comparison between Smith and Drake has never been much of a stretch though The Beatles have been cited as a major influence.

While somewhat underrated, BASEMENT felt a little stitched together and ghoulish but MOON organically captures Smith at the height of his powers. Though, there's nothing here that particlualy sheds any new light, Smith always excelled at leaving you wanting more. Well, here you go.

An essential glance back at what we all miss.
1010 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2007
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.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2007
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2007
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

XO
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2007
It totally astounded me. I had no expectations, but would not have been surprised if these tracks were left off Elliott's records because they were somehow sub-standard. They are not. Either/Or could have been a perfect double CD with the inclusion of these tracks. If you are an Elliott fan, you will be exstatic about these archival gems.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
Looking back at the life of Elliott Smith is very much like remembering the similar existences of Nick Drake or Kurt Cobain. Intensely creative singer/songwriters who prolifically sputtered out great music like roman candles shooting bright colored balls of light into the sky that fill you with emotion and then unexpectedly die out leaving you amazed that a roll of burnt cardboard created such visual delight. To this day there is still an element of disbelief I carry inside when I think especially of Cobain or Smith. As if their horribly violent deaths were somehow a staged hoax and they are hiding out somewhere, still waiting for the winds of inspiration to blow so they may write their next song. The thread that bound these artists together, that led to their untimely deaths was not only their shared drug and alcohol abuse but also their intense dissatisfaction with life, their struggles with depression and social anxiety. However one cannot imagine the works of either of these artists devoid of the pain, sadness and darkness that permeated their songs . Elliott Smith's music and his tortured heart and soul were intricately interwoven and inseparable from one another. I can still see the sad image in my head of Elliott Smith in his ill fitted white suit playing "Miss Misery" at the 1998 Academy Awards in front of an audience that stood for everything he hated. He meekly whispered out his powerful song to the self consumed audience that hung on him , like visitors at the zoo hoping an exotic bird will make some strange sound, and in that setting his song became meaningless. His personal agony was never meant to be cause for celebration even if it made it onto a popular soundtrack for a big money movie. For that very reason the strength in the music of Elliott Smith lies less in the genius of his musical arrangements and compositions and far more in his ability to touch all of us who share a similar emotional response to being human. I could expound for hours about why New Moon is Better than Roman Candle is better than XO ad infinitum, but what would be the point? The songs are all cut from the same emotional cloth and we as outsiders attaching various values to them are nothing but a great disservice to his creation. So a kind word of advice to those of you curious enough to explore the dark but so very human world created in the songs of Elliott Smith would be to be ready to receive and not take, leave your ego, expectations and pre existing musical preferences at the door and enter open hearted. "Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life
Only a frozen still life that fell down here to lay beside you."
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2008
This CD is pretty much amazing.

I've had it for about a year now, and still haven't gotten sick of it.

Best songs:
Almost Over
Going Nowhere
Fear City
... actually this is pointless it's all incredible, even in comparison to other Elliot Smith cds. Just get it.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2007
...friends and family of Elliott for putting out these b-sides and previously unreleased songs. I already knew a few of the songs, (like the alternate versions of his Heatmiser songs, the other take of "Miss Misery" and "Thirteen") and the rest are already growing on me. However, there are still plenty of songs left in Elliott's canon that have yet to see the light of day (on an official album), such as his collaboration with Jon Brion. But this only leaves hope for future b-side compilations. Even after the man dies, his music lives on.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2007
The most tragic thing about losing someone as beautiful and as talented as Elliott Smith is never hearing that soft voice whisper deep introspective words over such lush melodies ever again. So it is obviously a wonderful thing when you hear of new material never before heard...for some. For those of us who have downloaded "From a Basement 2"...this collection is not so new. Many of the songs on this compilation are included on the aforementioned unreleased B Sides compilation. Though here, on New Moon, the tracks are obviously re mastered and have much better clarity then any bootleg. I will not go through each track 1 by 1 trying to convince you how beautiful and heartwrenching they truly are. You know this. We know this. I never knew Elliott, yet his music always gave me the feeling I did. He was so honest, so true, so real and meant so much to so many people. New Moon does nothing more than solidify Elliott in my heart forever... as if he already wasn't there already.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I lived in Portland Oregon in the mid 1990's and some of my best memories are the Elliot Smith shows i saw in quaint local bars and clubs, up close and personal, just Elliot and his guitar. I always loved him with his band as well, but to me, the true artist in Elliot Smith always came shining through in his solo shows, when his fantastic songwriting was front and center.

If you are the kind of person who owns every Elliot Smith CD, and considers the Kill Rock Stars records to be his best, then New Moon is a must have. There is no need for me to go through track by track to describe the beauty of this album. The care that went into this release by the people who put it together deserves five stars in itself.

Listening to New Moon made me realize how great Elliot Smith was and how much i miss hearing him and seeing him create new music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.