ELLIOTT SMITH - Figure 8 2LP
Musically, the album is his most orchestrated work, with strings, bells, harpsichord, gorgeous piano, and unabashed guitar God moments, a definite sense of fun amidst all the darkness the lyrics attempt to exorcise. His righteous dismissal of "L.A." is his heaviest, most hard rock moment, while also a stark denial of home - 'I can't go home, it's not on my way.' In fact, like much of Figure 8 it brings to mind another cathartic album, American Music Club's Mercury, also an L.A. album, spiritually linked in the therapy of despair. Gratitude walks and stupidity tries. An immense and wonderful work, made no less intimate by the intricate arrangements.