February 08, 2006

Elliott Smith - Roman Candle

Roman Candle is Elliott Smith's first full length solo album. Hardly his best work, yet utterly angelic. Made in his basement with a 4-track in Portland, Roman Candle captures the beginning of what was to come for the poetic singer songwriter. Songs like “Roman Candle”, “Condor Ave”, and “Last Call” are haunting. While songs “No Name #1” and “No Name #2” are catchy melodies that are cheerful as much as Elliott can be. Some of these songs have a positive sound, yet after close attention to the lyrics it is clear what the message of this album is. Elliott gives us just a glimpse of his life of catastrophe and heartbreak. He invites us to sink into the loneliness and join him in solitude for just a brief moment with a few hushed songs that were never even meant to leave his basement. Elliott was just getting some stuff off his chest. He played the tape for his girlfriend who gave it to the record producers and it went on from there. Not the best starting place for a new Elliott fan, but certainly a must have for anyone who has heard his music and connected to him in a way only Elliott fans can appreciate.

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