Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Music Morsels Vol XXIV - XO

In adhering to the alphabetic processional through select favorite albums from my music collection, I'm pretty much limited here to either this or John Ottman's score for X-Men II. I choose this. This was a shot-in-the-dark birthday gift from my sister, and I have ot admit that her instinct that I would like this Elliott Smith guy was well-founded. It's just the kind of soft, assured, acoutic-based, melodic pop I go for. My main quibble is the same quibble I have with so many rock artists, especially in the soft, assured, acoutic-based, melodic pop genre--that the singers can't seem to just sing. Smith's voice isn't bad, but he affects the same kind of thin, wan, "I can't be bothered to project and sing out" voice favored by so many singers today. Ah well, rant over. Singing aside, this is a pleasant little album, with nicely structured pop songs, full of good piano and guitar interactions and a great sense for melody. Highlights include the literal "Waltz #2 (XO)," the confident opener "Sweet Adeline," and the sweet harmony-laden "Independence Day."

Grade: B

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