Attaining brilliance with this wistful, sentimental, gem of an album, Elliot Smith is the perfect soundtrack for perpetual loneliness. He has this philosophy that I've actually taken to heart. Rationalized relationship-phobia. Goes a little bit like this:
I don't deserve to be loved, yet I yearn for it all the time because we live in a culture that brainwashes us into thinking that we need a better half to be whole. But do we? And what if it happens to me? Actually experiencing love can be a shocker that can make every thought a paranoid analysis. What do I do now? How do I act? Why the hell does this person love me, let alone LIKE me enough to spend all this time tolerating my personality? Do I really trust this person not to hurt me? And if he does, should I contemplate taking anti-depressants like everyone else to achieve some level of normalcy and balance instead of becoming so bummed out I can't even see the bottom of my wine glass? If love makes us ultimately miserable, why do I always long for an end to loneliness?
Elliot Smith is the undisputed master of this neverending cycle of thought. "Nobody broke your heart. You broke your own 'cause you can't finish what you start," the classic lyric on ALAMEDA, is more reflexive/universal than offensive. Listen to the lyrics, and adopt the philosophy. Maybe there will finally be hope for the rationalized relationship-phobe in all of us. Or maybe we'll continue to wallow in our lonely confusion. Either (/or) way, this is an amazing, intense, beautiful acoustic album that makes my top ten every time.