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To: Elliott From: Portland

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 16, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

To: Elliott From: Portland by Various Artists
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Expunged Records
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • ASIN: B000E1MY86
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,174 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael D. Monahan on March 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Tribute albums tend to fail their intended audience time and again, mainly because the audience they target are purist fans of the original work. More often than not, these fans view any reworking of the material as a form of sacrilege. Sadly, this is already the case for what is in reality, an outstanding tribute to Elliott Smith, "To:Elliott/From:Portland." Reading the message boards on various Smith fan sites, it doesn't take long to see that this release is loathed by his fan base. The crux of their collective wrath seems to be aimed at the non-sparse production, the reverse of which was a Smith trademark. Unfortunately, they are missing the real worth of this CD - that he was a remarkable songwriter, and given that fact, even relatively unknown artists (all of the bands on this disc are from his hometown of Portland) have a hard time sounding bad when given such a great song to work with. The CD kicks off with the best known band of the bunch, The Decemberists, and their cover of Clementine, and it's performed

almost as sparse as Elliott's original - acoustic guitar, harmonica, and the sound of a crackling fire in the background. The fire is a great effect - and reminds me how few of today's songs would actually sound so good at night in the woods with the smell of burning brush and branch permeating the air. From there, the production gets more lavish as each of the artists takes on the task of honoring his work. In spite of this, these artists do a fantastic job with Smith's material - and for people who were not a part of the near lunatic fanaticism that made up Smith's fan base while he was alive, I think they will be drawn even closer to his original work.
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Format: Audio CD
A great tribute arranges the music to their own style, as if it is their own original. This CD does that. If you know these bands you could see that clearly. Good song selection. Great job.
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Format: Audio CD
I am a little hesitant about Elliott Smith tribute albums because, obviously, I love Elliott Smith's music and would hate to hear someone butcher it. I decided to go for this album since I'd read a couple of positive reviews and because some money would go to charity. I'm glad I decided to try it! Some of the versions on this album are quite different than the originals, which turns out to be a good thing. I knew Elliott Smith had a rare gift for songwriting, but hearing his songs performed by someone else only highlighted the strength of the songs. The performances on this album all allow the songs themselves to really shine. It's not Elliott, but I would recommend this album for anyone who wants to revisit the songs from a new perspective.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This compilation from Portland artist kicks ass. The new spin on Elliott's already awesome songs just makes them even better. In a way it gives Elliott's songs new life, as well as exposing new artists and the gifts their talents bring to this tribute of one of the most talented Portland artists of all, Elliott Smith, whose spark went out too soon. This album keeps that spark alive, burning with slightly new light while also maintaining Elliott's gloomy yet optimistic style.
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Format: Audio CD
Not every song knocks it out of the park but this tribute does a great job holding on to the essence of elliott while bringing something new to the table.

Honestly, i just heard that other tribute album and felt compelled to come and review this one. If you are deciding between the two, let me just settle it for you. This one.
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Format: Audio CD
Before I even put the CD in my player, I read the dedications on the inside cover and those alone made my heart ache. I think anyone who is a fan of Elliott has a story of their own to tell about his music; and the small bits of input from the bands and the "hidden" dedication under the CD make a beautiful little introduction to this album.

The CD itself is outstanding, the artists that contributed to this collaberation did a phenomenal job bringing their own style to some of (in my opinon) the best of Elliott's music while staying true to the original sound and feel of the songs. This is deffinately one of the most fantastic tributes to any musician I have ever heard and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Audio CD
Well, another Elliott tribute. He deserved all these and many more. People doing songs made famous by someone else usually don't amount to much but occasionally (Peter, Paul, and Mary covering Blowin In The Wind for example) they do the songs justice. The Decemberists' cover of Clementine to open the CD was incredible. The rest of the songs were equally strong (King's Crossing, Between the Bars). The only thing I didn't really enjoy was the wailing on the end of Speed Trials, but that's, as I said, the only thing I didn't like. I would've given the album more than 5 stars if I'd had the opportunity. Beautiful work.
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