Elliott - Photorecording (Cover Artwork)


Elliott: PhotorecordingPhotorecording (2005)
Revelation Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: colincolin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If you don't like Elliott already, this probably won't make you like them any more. In fact, it will probably give you another reason to hate them or bust out such tired scene phrases as "snorecore" and other witty metaphors for sleep. That being said, this is a good album. I was a fan of U.S..
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If you don't like Elliott already, this probably won't make you like them any more. In fact, it will probably give you another reason to hate them or bust out such tired scene phrases as "snorecore" and other witty metaphors for sleep.

That being said, this is a good album.

I was a fan of U.S. Songs, and never got into the cult around Song in the Air. False Cathedrals, in my opinion, is by far the band's strongest record. This retrospective takes the best of each album and sort of ties it all together through production, making once epic songs even greater, fuller, and right where they should be (most of the time).

First, the negative parts:

  1. I don't like the final track being "Intro to False Cathedrals," because if you happen to have False Cathedrals on next, then, well, you listen to a third of the song you just listened to all over again. It would have been a much better intro to the entire album, as the entire album is almost a re-introduction to songs Elliott fans already know. It's just awkward.
  2. Elliott does well with instrumentals. I enjoy the few that have decorated their albums, but it was a mistake to put three in a row. Maybe end with "This Program is Not Responding," intro with "Intro..." and put "Leona" somewhere between the dense plethora of lengthy but vocally-driven tracks in the middle.
  3. "Drive Onto Me" was always my least favorite song on False Cathedrals, and I find myself liking it even less here with the happy-go-lucky drums and more upbeat guitar. I would have preferred an alternate of "Lie Close" or "Speed of Film," but you can't control what a band has recorded in the past.
Now for the good stuff:

Well, actually, it's everything else. I got a little bit of slack for my review of Coheed and Cambria's latest, and how long songs can still be good. Well, they can, and Elliott shows you they can be. They have the lengthy guitar solos here, they have the four-minute melodies, but they do it the way musicians do: They build tension, they play with time, they tease your ears and instead of always going the predictable route, they make you pay attention.

The production on this is also extremely well done. The songs all meld together well, even in their new sequence, and some of the new note choices on "Calm Americans" (specifically with the piano) really give the song the intensity that the lyrics call for (as a sidenote, for those who think music like this isn't punk rock, read up on the lyrics for that song sometime).

But, as I said, a lot of people don't like this band because they aren't super fast, they're not edgy or screamy. But they were really good at what they did, and this collection is an absolutely amazing display of what music has lost. Points lost for decisions on track sequencing, but other than that, if you liked Elliott, you won't be disappointed.


People who liked this also liked:
forgetters - forgettersBright Eyes - Noise FloorBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MePlanes Mistaken for Stars - MercyLife at These Speeds - To Your HealthDesaparecidos - Read Music / Speak SpanishLife at These Speeds - Life at These Speeds [reissue]I Would Set Myself on Fire for You - Believes in PatternsWaxwing - One for the RideBoysetsfire - The Misery Index: Notes from the Plague Years

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
pure_west102 (August 12, 2006)

This review is simply astounding in its ignorance.

To cap the 'negative' aspects...
as musicians, as artists, it's clear what Elliott was doing here.
for one, this is a retrospective to give insight into the workings of Elliott, for whatever reason. The reason I like to think of is that this disc makes the band accessible, more real, as if these songs weren't just manifested in the sky and brought to lowly humans...they were created by men and played with emotion. The order plays no importance, neither does what song is re-done in a dance manner. Albeit, Drive Onto Me is slightly out of place on False Cathedrals, but in the liner notes themselves, it is stated that the CREATORS of the song always saw Drive...as a dance song and gave it the life they thought it deserved.
And to claim the the placement of the final track, "Intro to False Cathedrals" is awkward...my god.
It is a beautiful piece that is quickly cut off. i'll agree, it's a shot to the heart when the volume drops and Calm Americans doesn't come next, but it clearly illustrates what a hold these musicians can put over a listener.
Not a goddamn thing wrong with this album. A fine farewell to possibly the undergrounds best band.

tylerdurden8136 (March 31, 2006)

go kill yourself, colin.

Anonymous (November 1, 2005)

although it's not that genious as song in the air..you still can feel the spirit of elliott..damn i'm ashamed i never saw them..well it was quite difficult to see them in the netherlands...But well..this band can't do anything wrong they changed my life with song in the air..followed them from the beginning and still cant get enough of any of their cd's..indeed they play music las musicians..

damn i miss them!!

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

three cheers to the previous poster here. elliott is one of the most under-appreciated bands ever.

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

sorry elliott doesn't meet the standards of blink 182 fans.
fuck all 'yall.

their albums only got better, more creative, more epic, and more technical as they went along. and their live perfornace was always worth taking off work to go see. i've seen them 4 times and i never left disapointed.

elliott is not a band. they are an expierience. three cheers. Screw you guys who dismiss it as "snorcore" and can't appreciate more mellow music, i don't see how anyone could not feel the absolute energy their songs carry.

I cant wait to get this new cd.

shame on you hardcore/pop punk fuckers.
"Snorcore." fuck that.

ellott kicks ass. grow some fucking ears.
- steve hoydis

Anonymous (October 22, 2005)

i found the answer to my own question: it's "suitcase & atoms" from US Songs. great song.

Anonymous (October 22, 2005)

on the DVD, they came out and played an encore song that I'm not familiar with. Does anybody know what it's called or what album (if any) it's on?

Anonymous (October 17, 2005)

i just got this and i was watching the dvd and was wondering what audio format the dvd uses 5.1 surround, dolby digital stereo/mono????

i couldnt figure it out help!!!!

Anonymous (October 15, 2005)

A tale of two Elliotts.

A: False Cathedrals - with Jay Palumbo
One of the best releases in the history of rock music.

B. Everything else - snorecore.

Anonymous (October 14, 2005)

ahh i need to get this album now. ok time to order it. yea song in the air is one of my favorite albums ever.

Anonymous (October 13, 2005)

boo to no backing vocals on "drive onto me"...they were the best part of that song.

Anonymous (October 13, 2005)

they broke up???? what the fuck for?? god damnit. song in the air was a great album. it's so nice to put it on every once in a while and chill. maybe i'll do that while i break in my new bong tonight ;)

Anonymous (October 12, 2005)

"If you don't like Elliott already, this probably won't make you like them any more. "

In utter contradiction to very first thing put forward in the review, I actually never found anything remotely interesting or attention grabbing in Elliot, I would say they didn't even do much for me to bother hating them, I mean I didn't consider them as a bad band, I just didn't consider them. They were a blip on someone else's radar in another language. It was indifferent music, It seemed dull, the opposite of any positive review i had read of them.

This album is everything I had always been told Elliot was.
I like this record, and more suprising, I respect it. It isn't just a good record, but is impressive. I like the whole thing, not just parts.

So they did a 180 way after the fact, in the 11th hour.

So, the suprise of the year for me, but an enjoyable record.


Scruffy (October 12, 2005)

Song In The Air sucked. I liked each album less than the one before.

I guess, logically, I should own that Falling Forward CD, then.

awkward (October 12, 2005)

Elliott, damn.... one of the greatest post-hardcore bands ever. This is a great "farewell gift" from them, came out of nowhere. I didn't have a clue they'd release something like this after breaking up.. very cool. I have a problem with the new version of "Bleed In Breathe Out" though.. it's too...... techno.

maverick (October 11, 2005)

It's not a full live set, it's only one live clip from the last show. The documentary includes a ton of live performance footage from their last tour, however.

Also, only the first seven songs on this are re-recorded live in the studio. The rest are all outtakes/b-sides/rarities/remixes/etc.

It is good.


Inspection12e (October 11, 2005)

The DVD features a documentary that is about 30-45 minutes long and a live set which I haven't watched all the way through yet.

The CD is worth it for the redone songs and the amazing booklet.

ElVaquero (October 11, 2005)

Song In The Air - 7

False Cathedrals - 6

U.S. Songs - 5

Icapped2pac (October 11, 2005)

Whoops, apparently all I saw was the capital A. I meant "Allular".

Icapped2pac (October 11, 2005)

Anchors, I would gladly tell you if I could. But I can't, because it's been a week since the release and I STILL don't have my FUCKING pre-ordered copy!!!! Score is for RevHQ. Last time I ever order anything from them.

off_the_fucken_map (October 11, 2005)

yes me too. i want to know about the dvd.

Allular (October 11, 2005)

I'm holding off on this until I know how the DVD is. Anyone? Anyone?

sickboi (October 11, 2005)

Louisville snore-core.

Scruffy (October 11, 2005)

Drive On To Me is awesome.

prankish (October 11, 2005)

I do miss Elliott. I haven't listened to them in quite some time now. I think I'll remedy that.

colin (October 11, 2005)

they're all re-recorded. it's like a live album, but it's not a show. so they're not unreleased, more like different takes that are pretty fucking good different takes.

Anonymous (October 11, 2005)

Are any of these songs unreleased? And many might disagree, but there were a few moments on Song in the Air that rocked it pretty hard.

colin (October 11, 2005)

come on man, it's a good disc, i didn't think the writing was that bad. if anything i would have gone into more detail. no need for anonymous put downs. either critique specific parts of the review or please, just don't critique it at all. my point was i didn't fully get across just how beautiful this album is, even though it's not really a punk rock record, it's still fantastic.

Anonymous (October 11, 2005)

I like how everyone tries to cover-up for their shitty writing by saying they were drunk. That's always cute.


colin (October 11, 2005)

i'll postscript this by saying i was really drunk when i wrote this (as i am now), so i left off many of the reasons of why this is as good this really is.

i'm surprised it was put up, i didn't think it was that well-written.

nevertheless, i still think it's an incredibly strong album (music wise, i dont really watch dvds of bands much, so i didn't review that)

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