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Elliott Smith: Roman Candle Remastered

Elliot Smith
Roman Candle Remastered
(Kill Rock Stars)

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Hitting you right between the eyes with the recent release of a duo of CD’s from enigmatic songwriter Elliot Smith, may I interest you in his first ever release, Roman Candle?This is the unintentional debut album from Smith as a solo artist, even though he was still a singer and guitarist for Heatmiser. Recorded almost completely by Smith on an in-home four track, these songs were only ever meant as demos for Smith to secure a seven-inch record deal, but the record company heard the tunes and loved them enough to put it out. Tunes like the aspirated-vocal title track, the bluesy “Condor Ave” the trio of “No Name” tunes 1-4 (4 being the best for me, sounding as it does like a Syd Barrett tune) and what I feel is probably the most ‘complete’ track of the nine songs, “Last Call.” The album is hard to judge as anything but just a compilation of tunes that were never meant to be heard as a cohesive album release. Still, it’s evident from these ‘demos’ that Elliott Smith is a solid songwriter.

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