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Roman Candle

April 6, 2010 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity Prime  
1
3:36
2
3:34
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3:03
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3:34
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3:13
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2:36
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2:30
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4:38
9
3:40

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: April 6, 2010
  • Label: Kill Rock Stars
  • Copyright: 2010 Kill Rock Stars
  • Total Length: 30:24
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003ANISEE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,078 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 50 customer reviews
Musically the album is layered beyond belief.
"dmbrocks"
Overall this is a great album, one of my all time favorites.
Jh
Knowing his songs are like knowing a good friend.
The Condor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Mansell on July 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I know that all albums, especially when compared by fans of an artist, come down to a matter of opinion, but I feel compelled to give mine: this is my favorite.
I own all of Smith's album releases and treasure them all, but while most people seem to rank Either/Or first on their lists, I put it at least third. It's just how I feel about the songwriting. Roman Candle is the second of his that I heard and the one I most often go back to. Here's why:
It's not the under-production, because I never really care about that. It's the simplified suggestiveness of the songwriting that tells you he can do more, but he knows he doesn't have to. The non-specific song titles (No Name #1) have never bothered me because they speak so well for themselves. It's not a long album, but it's strong from start to finish. It seems to reach its climax at "Last Call," a tremendous song by any standards, and then delivers the instrumental "Kiwi maddog 20/20" as a sort of afterthought. That last one is in a style that's hard for my friends and me to typify. And that lack of type is what makes this album so great to me.
It is his debut solo work, as far as I know, and it certainly sounds like a man finding his voice, which is not to say he is less than qualified (as my rating of 5 stars indicates) but rather he is new in his confidence as a writer.
Simply put, it's fantastic. There are few albums I can recommend as strongly.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Anyone familliar with Elliott Smith's work knows that to say his style is confessional is a severe understatement. You're heart breaks for him; the stories of late night drinking and aimlessly wandering around lost in a wistful blue circle of contemplation, the dangerously quiet anger that is only hinted at, the achingly sweet attempts to apologize. His tiny whispers emit more power than an air raid siren; try to conjure an image of a cartoon lion roaring and all the trees blowing back- it's kind of like that. In "Roman Candle" you get to experience the contradictory nature of Smith's songwriting that makes his songs so appealing. Recorded quite simply on a 4track, there is virtually no production and the songs get to speak entirely for themselves. And, boy, do they speak! Even without full instrumentation, Elliott manages to craft these intricate little gems that shine with no need for sunlight. Granted, it's rough, but i would rather hear this low-fi piece of genuine art than listen to a glossy album by some band whose songs wouldn't have a foot to stand on without the aid of a shrewd producer. Be patient with this album; it may take some time to really get it, but when you do, you'll be so glad to be there.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "dmbrocks" on July 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite album of all time, so forgive me if I'm a little biased.
Elliott Smith recorded this album while still in the Northwestern indie-rock band Heatmiser, on a four-track in his bed room. The story goes that his girlfriend heard the demos and thought they were too good NOT to be heard, so she took them to a small indie label, and "Roman Candle" was released. Elliott's Heatmiser bandmate Neil Gust is on the cover.
Elliott has been compared to Nick Drake by basically every major music publication in existence, and with good reason. While "Roman Candle" is not the glimpse into the rapidly faltering state of a singer's mind the way "Pink Moon" was, the concept remains the same. Elliott sings folk songs with hushed vocals that create a dark, moody atmosphere. While his lyrics never attempt the poetic verses of Drake, the words and images are haunting and powerful. In "Last Call" Elliott sings, "start to drink, and just want to continue...it'll all be yesteryear soon." Narratives of oblivion ("No Name #3"), suicide ("Condor Ave."), and the autobiographical images of a man who "at a party, he was waiting, looking kind of spooky and withdrawn." Is it Elliott? Perhaps. The emotions of being alone remain the same. In this, "Roman Candle" is comparable to "Pink Moon" - it is a starkly personal record. Like "Pink Moon," which was almost never released, this is what happens when talented musicians write songs purely for the joy of songwriting.
Musically the album is layered beyond belief. At first listen (the album starts with the title track) it sounds like one guitar. Then the second time, you realize it's two...
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tom Aiken on July 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
To those more familiar with Elliott's recent albums on Dreamworks (XO, Figure 8) the folky-minimalism of his debut will be a signifcant departure. "Roman Candle," recorded while he was still a member of the punk/grunge/whatever group "Heatmiser," is gloriously barren and unproduced. (Believe its to a four-track tape recorder in his living room) While the arrangements are fairly simple (rarely more than Smith and a guitar or two) his songwriting was already fully formed. Additionally, the sparseness gives way to the intensely personal lyrics which are his most troubled and intriguing.
The album is a bit brief (Only around thirty minutes) but there are no dud songs and a couple are among my very favorites. "Roman Candle" is a stirring portrait of bottled rage and "Condor Ave" is just absolutely haunting. I think comparisons of Elliott to Bob Dylan and especially Nick Drake are reasonable. His lyrics have that ineffability to them. An important aspect to his songwriting is his background in punk. His guitar technique is often pretty aggressive and he says what he needs to and gets out of the way, resulting in short effective songs. I can't really decide whether this, his self-title second album, or Either/Or is my album of his more spartan indie recordings but that consistency is a testament to the excellence of Elliott Smith's abilities. If you're an Elliott Smith album, his humble beginnings are a must hear. For anyone else Roman Candle, I think is the best introduction to him.
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