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Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill (Cover Artwork)

Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith: From a Basement on the HillFrom a Basement on the Hill (2004)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

Singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, dead at 34 from a knife wound to the chest. Tabloids will tell you that it was a suicide, but I say murder. I'll spare you the details of the investigation because they are sketchy, at best. Elliott was one of the best songwriters of our time. His lyrics were inte.
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Singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, dead at 34 from a knife wound to the chest. Tabloids will tell you that it was a suicide, but I say murder. I'll spare you the details of the investigation because they are sketchy, at best.

Elliott was one of the best songwriters of our time. His lyrics were intelligent. They were heartfelt. At times, downright depressing. From a Basement on the Hill was released shortly after Elliott's untimely death. I should make it clear that this album is not a compilation. These were new songs that Elliott was still tweaking at the time of his death. What you have are 15 tracks that were picked out by Smith's closest friends and producer Rob Schnapf. No one really knows what, if any, changes Elliott would have made, but regardless, this post-humous album shows how truly talented Elliott was, and unfortunately, reminds us of what could have been.

Most of the songs on the album are acoustic/folk rock. The acoustic guitars and Elliott's whispery voice really help set the somber tone in all of Elliott Smith's albums. Yes, I realize â??whispery' is not an actual word, but it's the only thing I can come up with to describe it. Elliott's voice is nothing special, but not many brilliant songwriters actually do have great vocals. From a Basement on the Hill is not for everybody. It's emotionally draining and a little cumbersome, but I do highly recommend it to any fan of acoustic rock.

Quote from my favorite song on the album, "Fond Farewell:"

A little less than a human being
A little less than a happy high
A little less than a suicide
The only things that you really tried
This is not my life
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
It's not what I'm like
It's just a fond farewell to a friend

 

 
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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.
rabbit (August 16, 2013)

weird to me that this has the lowest rating of all his albums so far reviewed on punknews. my favourite album by easily my favourite artist, and it's a shame that it hasn't gotten a better review than this.

Anonymous (November 27, 2005)

Pretty weird album compared to his others. I still enjoyed it and thought there were some rlly amazing songs. Pretty ugly before, lets get lost, fond farewell, twilight are sick. Really depresing shit here.

Godfather (November 10, 2005)

if you're lookin for an apology from me then you best check yo self fo you wreck yo self

Jesse (November 10, 2005)

Dude, Godfather challenging me to a flame war?

Shit, kid must be new. He has no idea how I roll.

All I know is that back in MY day, there wasn't any "Oh, I'm sorry, let me make it up to you bullshit." It all ended with my enemies ridiculed beyond belief. It was all like, "Oh please, oh great one, please don't stick it in my ass," and I'd be all like, "Take it bitch! Unnghh! Get on it!! Yeeaaaarrrgghhh!"

F'realz.

Anonymous (November 8, 2005)

it really shows by the lenth of the review that this guy didn't really listen to the record this is a great cd and a great artist that deserves more then a weak ass review by a retard

Anonymous (November 8, 2005)

"Guy below me is a faggort."

Bend over so I can ram your chocolate love-hole hard. Right now, man. I'm a faggort, and I'm coming to get you. Gay, but with an extra 'r'.

The comments could seriously do with a quote function.

iheartadam (November 8, 2005)

There's 1600 of them to 166 .'org Scrobbler members. And a good 100 of the '.org Scrobblers are also in the tateXgroup.

We can only hope their French. OH BA-ZONG.

colin (November 7, 2005)

jesse at absolute punk

hahahhaahahah i damn near just spit out my drink

i'd like to see a punknews vs absolutepunk throwdown. there's more of them, but i think punknews folk would fight a lot dirtier.

Godfather (November 7, 2005)

Attn. Jesse:

listen you stupid fuck...unless you have something to say about the album, then get the fuck out of this thread....and if you want to start some kind of e-war, then bring it.....i'll splatter your e-guts all over this site....and before you know it, you'll be writing your kanye west reviews over at absolute punk

colin (November 7, 2005)

this place was funnier when we were all 19 or so and had no respect for each other EVER. now we're all becoming mid 20's and gayer than gay.

hahahahahahahaahaha

fucking classic

-colin

GreenVandal (November 7, 2005)

I made some sex with all of your Moms...and some of your Dads to.

There? Did I sufficiently chap your cabooses? Am I mean and hardcore? Growllllllll

Anonymous (November 7, 2005)

titties

Jesse (November 7, 2005)

Cram all this feel good bullshit up your ass!

Fuck Anchors!

Fuck Godfather!

Start some shit!

Punk rock 4 Lyfe, BITCH.

BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I hate this site.

Godfather (November 7, 2005)

this review is like my penis...short and insufficient

iheartadam (November 7, 2005)

Guy below me is a faggort.

Anonymous (November 7, 2005)

I just downloaded this the other day, but I'm too scared to listen to it because I don't see how it can compare to Either/Or.

His voice is amazing. Not technical, but it's utterly beautiful.

Anonymous (November 7, 2005)

I bought this album last year, mainly out of respect for the guy. With the exception of perhaps "Son of Sam," none of his earlier songs had ever held my attention.

The same holds for this album. Tracks 1 and 14 are actually pretty decent, while the others range from boring to terrible.

-Chinatown

steveman (November 7, 2005)

Great album. Good score. Shitty review.

One of the things that always gets me, is Elliott's voice. I love it. Maybe it's the way they track it? I don't know, but it always sounds so...pleasant.

Other notable tracks from this album: Pretty (Ugly Before) and Kings Crossing.

I always get a little choked up during King's Crossing when he sings "I can't prepare for death any more than I already have "

sickboi (November 7, 2005)

Yup, add another artist to the list of those I'm not "with".

So, we have Elliot Smith, Ted Leo, DFA 1979 and so on...

Anonymous (November 7, 2005)

omg i kan right better reveewz. you suckz

poopypants (November 7, 2005)

"Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
Posted by Anchors on 2005-11-06 03:41:33

Yo dude, it's cool, and everyone has to start somewhere. I look at the first few reviews I wrote and cringe, and hell, I look at some reviews I wrote 3 weeks ago and cringe. The more you write, the more comfortable you feel.

And while I do think the review was way to short, hey, at least you appreciate Elliott Smith as he should be.

Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill
Posted by Godfather on 2005-11-06 03:37:32
My Score:

sorry for accusing you anchors....i promise i won't bother you anymore unless provoked.....and that'd be cool if you wrote a review on another smith album....i'd suggest xo or either/or, but it's obviously your call

about the review....yeah, its way too short....i actually did write about some of the highlights, but it sounded so awful when i read it to myself that i deleted it...i have a lot of respect for you guys that write good reviews, but it's really hard for me to describe things that are so intangible, like music. if i do write another review, i'll try to be a little more insightful and such"

OMG u 2 should go MAKE OUT. FAGS! lolrotflmao

paul

poopypants (November 7, 2005)

"holy shit!

was this just a crazy internet fight on punknews.org where the two members of the community actually spoke to each other and came to terms of agreement and mutual respect?!

this has to be a first for the ENTIRE INTERNET EVER."

everyone's becoming a big emo pussy around here or something. this place was funnier when we were all 19 or so and had no respect for each other EVER. now we're all becoming mid 20's and gayer than gay.

anyway, this is a great album, but i just can't get that into elliot smith. i recognize his genoius, my one indy friend absolutely worships the guy, but its just too depressing and somber for me. i liek my shit a little more rockin.

paul

iheartadam (November 7, 2005)

Stuck on my shoe

stricken (November 7, 2005)

beautiful

that's it.

darkstarm (November 7, 2005)

good record. first half is better than the last. 4 stars is pretty spot on. blah blah blah blah. anyone see bearvsshark at the beat kitchen? god i love that band.

Jesse (November 6, 2005)

You all fucking suck. There. I said it.

Jesus, someone has the keep the hate alive. What the fuck is this? Making up after an Internet spat?

The only Elliott Smith album I can sit through is the s/t one. And the back half is the best part. "St. Ides Heaven," "The Wihte Lady Loves You More," "The Biggest Lie" - these are some of my favorite Elliott Smith songs.

GreenVandal (November 6, 2005)

I want to shank someone in the eye, can I shank you in the eye? ANyone? Anyone?

abusedcat (November 6, 2005)

it's a good record, but, as alot of people have stated, not as good as Either/Or. You cannot beat that record.

iheartadam (November 6, 2005)

Hey Colin, I fucked your moms.

thirtyseconds (November 6, 2005)

"When you give 5 stars to "Frances The Mute" by the Mars Volta, all you have to do is stop writing music reviews"

Ha ha that's fucking hilarious. No offence intended to Anchors though, I love his reviews.

Godfather (November 6, 2005)

1) either/or
2) elliott smith
3) xo
4) from a basement on the hill
5) roman candle
6) figure 8

agreed, but i'd be inclined to switch 2 and 3

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

twilight is so great, it hurts. anyways, let's play rank the elliott smith albums:
1) either/or
2) elliott smith
3) xo
4) from a basement on the hill
5) roman candle
6) figure 8

threechordsandthetruth (November 6, 2005)

It would always have been hard to get an equally good review for this record, and obviously this one fails. Great guy.

KURT COBAIN MURDERED ELLIOT SMITH!

Big_Guy (November 6, 2005)

but, as i do love a majority of smith's discography, i will say that there are some extremely noteworthy tracks that rank up there with favorites such as "say yes", "needle in the hay" and "miss misery," most of which is "twilight", easily my favorite on the album and one of the most beautiful of his career.

yeah, Twilight is easily my favorite of his

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

i've pooped better reviews than this.

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

scores for that billy elliot movie

theundergroundscene (November 6, 2005)

that wasn't even a good fight

come on you at least need to give someone the opportunity to use the statement comparing internet fighting to the special olympics

blade-runner (November 6, 2005)

Elliot Smith is one of the great songwriters of our time.

This album is very good but is surpassed by the Amazing "Either/Or".

"Say Yes" is the most superb folk song I've heard not from the 60's or 70's.

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

This guy anchors 'd better shut the fuck up.

When you give 5 stars to "Frances The Mute" by the Mars Volta, all you have to do is stop writing music reviews.

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

this sucks

colin (November 6, 2005)

holy shit!

was this just a crazy internet fight on punknews.org where the two members of the community actually spoke to each other and came to terms of agreement and mutual respect?!

this has to be a first for the ENTIRE INTERNET EVER.

really, kudos to anchors and godfather for not getting into a pissing contest. this should set an example for people who get into unnecessary fights around here that keep going and going and going. good job you two.

Anchors (November 6, 2005)

Better be flavored.

Orange, preferably.

iheartadam (November 6, 2005)

Quick, somebody get the lube.

Anchors (November 6, 2005)

Yo dude, it's cool, and everyone has to start somewhere. I look at the first few reviews I wrote and cringe, and hell, I look at some reviews I wrote 3 weeks ago and cringe. The more you write, the more comfortable you feel.

And while I do think the review was way to short, hey, at least you appreciate Elliott Smith as he should be.

Godfather (November 6, 2005)

sorry for accusing you anchors....i promise i won't bother you anymore unless provoked.....and that'd be cool if you wrote a review on another smith album....i'd suggest xo or either/or, but it's obviously your call

about the review....yeah, its way too short....i actually did write about some of the highlights, but it sounded so awful when i read it to myself that i deleted it...i have a lot of respect for you guys that write good reviews, but it's really hard for me to describe things that are so intangible, like music. if i do write another review, i'll try to be a little more insightful and such.

colin (November 6, 2005)

I'm going to write a review for either 'Figure 8' or 'Either/Or,' haven't decided yet.

I like either / or better, personally. i mean, it's a pretty easy review:

"this album is absolutely beautiful, epically depressing without being superficial, but has a straightforward style that most of today's bands try, and fail to, emulate. download this and put your recent purchase of the new dashboard confessional album into retirement."

Anchors (November 6, 2005)

I'm going to write a review for either 'Figure 8' or 'Either/Or,' haven't decided yet.

iheartadam (November 6, 2005)

Elvis still lives in Bermuda.

inagreendase (November 6, 2005)

Also, this is good, but like his other albums I've heard thus far (XO, Either/Or), all of the best material is in the first third-to-half. I tend to zone out when halftime passes, though "Twilight" and "Memory Lane" are definitely two of my favorites from this, along with the first four tracks and "A Fond Farewell."

Still a great artist that managed to write some really powerful and yet really basic songs.

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

I think Elliott was murdered too. His girlfriend opened the bathroom door while they were fighting and he had a knife sticking out of his chest? Bullshit.

Great CD by the way... It's too bad we're never gonna hear anything new from the guy. :(

JOSHCBFL

inagreendase (November 6, 2005)

And congratulations on figuring out how to compliment yourself anonymously: Anchors is right. Good job with that.

Eh, you can choose to believe me or not, but the IP is coming up as Granville, Ohio.

And even as the person who posted the review, I agree, you certainly could've expanded a bit on a post-humous release of this nature.

I just thought it was embarrassing to not have a single Elliott Smith review on the entire site, no less nothing for his "new" album.

colin (November 6, 2005)

godfather:
i'm drunk as hell, take that as a prescript
but

any beef between you and anchors needent be here. if "all your reviews blow," maybe you should take that as a hint that you shouldn't write them. this is an incredibly amazing album, one with the substance that a majority of the modern punk scene lacks. anchors is dead on when the comment is made that it is in need of a more thorough review. there are so many little things to thsi album- obviously, the main aspect being that a percentage (around 1/3 if i'm not mistaken) was done posthumously in production by friends in what they think smith's vision was. not to mention the lyrics and an added twist on to what smith has written in previous works of his, or in heatmiser.

internet drama aside (cause, as we all know, it's serious business), a quarter of your review consists of lyrics from a song on the album. you have to be prepared to get criticized for a review with that little substance, other than, "it's really fucking good, listen to it."

although, it is really fucking good, and people should listen to it.

ClicheMyHeart (November 6, 2005)

you could of atleast highlighted a few songs. not a big gripe

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

anchors is god

Godfather (November 6, 2005)

Anchors, it's obvious that I've gotten under your skin and your panties are still in a wad. It's the goddamn internet; get over it. I don't care how many reviews you've written for this site because one of em includes Mars Volta, in which you felt it deserved 5 stars....ugh. And congratulations on figuring out how to compliment yourself anonymously: Anchors is right. Good job with that.

yeah, and all my reviews blow...what's new?

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

what bands are in the "punk rock spirit" nowadays....
every band that plays punk music (the genre) is not playing in the spirit of punk rock cause they are playing the same shit that was already created. blood brothers is one band that i think is playing in the spirit of punk rock. I have friends that only listen to hardcore street punk and they cant listen to the blood brothers cause its too noisy. im stoned and im not sure what this has to do with elliot smith anymore but ill just say that he was a really good songwriter/lyricist and in the music you dont have to classify that into a genre.

-The Revolution (4/12/06)

ClicheMyHeart (November 6, 2005)

all music is pop if people listen to it

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

Anchors is right.

gladimnotemo (November 6, 2005)

I'm glad Epitaph has Anti-, to maintain some sort of credibility, but this is not "in the punk rock spirit." This is pop music, fair and square. It's not very good, either. RP is above this, and that's completely fair and true.

Let the shitstorm begin.

Anonymous (November 6, 2005)

Elliott Smith was murdered by his girlfriend, no question about it.

colin (November 6, 2005)

i'll agreee with anchors. this album is absolutely magnificent and does deserve a stronger review.

but, as i do love a majority of smith's discography, i will say that there are some extremely noteworthy tracks that rank up there with favorites such as "say yes", "needle in the hay" and "miss misery," most of which is "twilight", easily my favorite on the album and one of the most beautiful of his career.

iheartadam (November 6, 2005)

Elvis is alive and working for the FBI.

Anchors (November 6, 2005)

An album like this deserves a more thorough review.

colin (November 6, 2005)

absolutely fucking oustanding amazing

one of the great songwriters of our time

will be missed

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