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Xo [Import]

Elliott Smith Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 47.71 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Xo + Figure 8 + Either/Or
Price For All Three: CDN$ 76.35

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Product Description


On XO, Elliott Smith leaves the indie doldrums behind and takes wing to new, lush surroundings. By adding full instrumentation to his acoustic reveries, Smith has ascended to a new level of song-writing that shores up his gentle voice and country-tinged guitar playing with extra layers of vocal arrangements and charming piano vamps. Strains of classic rock filter into the Beatlesque "Baby Britain" and the Beach Boys-inspired "I Didn't Understand"- but Smith succeeds in adapting them to his style rather than the other way around. A foot soldier in DreamWorks' war on standard-issue rock & roll, Smith joins new label mates Rufus Wainwright and Morphine as sophisticated interpreters of the new male psyche. XO is a stunning shadow print of a soul adrift in the music industry, a dark place indeed. --Lois Maffeo


For better and sometimes for worse, Smith ... gives voice to his generation's romantic cynicism and diminished expectations. -- Entertainment Weekly

[Elliott Smith's] beautifully orchestrated pop radiates a humming energy, countering a breathy, anemic voice that perfectly conveys ... intimate and morose sentiments.... -- USA Today

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars XO IS Elliott Smith Jan. 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
As with all things that challenge the norm, Elliott Smith's XO was to be viewed cautiously at first. XO is where i first heard Elliott. I was a pop-music fan with a roomate destined to play me this record and Elliott's subsequent faire. While I loathed this record at first play, to make a long story short, It came to be my favorite.
In retrospect, while this record doesn't capture the pure accoustic -guitar brilliance of Elliot's first three, there is NO QUESTION that from a purely musical standpoint it is Elliott's finest. The combination of melody and arrangment meets its peak in XO which is surely the finest of the turn of the 20th centure. It's the Beatles to Radiohead to anything you want in a pure guitar-player and musician and the unique, incomparable melodies of the brilliant Smith to boot!
As inclined as I am to hyperbole in all my reviews of Elliott, if you must buy one Elliott album, purchase/download XO. She's WONDERFUL!
Tracks to start with: Waltz #2, Independence Day, Oh Well Okay. For guitar players: Tommorow Tommorow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent July 4 2004
By Jason
Format:Audio CD
This is music at it's best. Elliott Smith is possibly the best songwriter ever, and XO a piece of evidence for this claim. Every song on this album was well written and played to perfection. I can't wait for his last release.
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome July 26 2008
Format:Audio CD
A singer/songwriter with a major label recording budget is, as they say, kind of like a mule with a spinning wheel-- no one knows how he got it, and damned if he knows how to use it. But rather than obfuscating his songwriting gift with syrupy string sections and armies of backup singers, Elliott Smith used his Dreamworks debut, XO, as an opportunity to further focus the emotional power of his previous releases. Melancholy and grandiosity may seem mutually exclusive, but on XO, they're combined to wonderful effect, each crystalline guitar line and majestic piano arpeggio adding momentum and depth to Smith's gorgeous and impassioned vocals.

Indeed, the most striking thing about XO may very well be the elegance and restraint Smith brings to his songs. Smith always managed to say a lot with a striking economy of sounds and words, and not a single note here seems forced or gratuitous. Though Smith was being preened for stardom at the time of its release, there's not a self-indulgent moment to be found on the record-- even its most elaborate parts seem infused with the unassuming spirit of Smith's own musical discovery. XO shows a man poised to take over the world, still content to find new and moving ways to sing about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What more is there to say? Dec 18 2006
Format:Audio CD
This album is absolutely, earth-shatteringly heartbreaking. And the fact that Smith has passed on (like so many other greats) makes this album even sadder. Whether the tracks on XO are rocking, epic, or muted and acoustic there's something for everyone on this album but not in a generic way at all. The way that Elliott Smith taps into such pure, raw emotions and leaves himself naked, vulnerable and shockingly exposed is unreal, relateable and dramatic without being phony or pretentious. XO is just like any other Smith album; they are interchangeable and XO is an essential just like every Smith album is for your record collection. Every track shimmers like constellations in a lonely black sky, or tears in a darkened room. Plain and simply amazing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and honest. genius June 11 2004
By Beth K
Format:Audio CD
I have never written a review online before but I have become so obsessed with this album that I feel complused to share it with everyone. This urge has recently grown to not only include my friends and aquaintences, but people I have never and will never meet. I want to run up to strangers on the street and tell them about it. Every song on the album is beautiful, and some if you are a sensitive type, will probobly make you cry. I'm not a sensitive type and some of these songs make me cry. It's that good. Honest, personal, simple and complex at the same time, beautifully composed, arranged, and sung. This is definitly my favorite album by Elliott Smith, though I really love figure 8 too. Basically you'll have to listen to it yourself, though like most good music, it takes a few times playing it before you'll really get into it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entrancing... June 6 2004
Format:Audio CD
I first heard of Elliott Smith through my wonderful and talented friend who just so happened to be playing "Waltz # 1". At first I thought she and her awesome acoustic guitar playing sister wrote it but she recommended I check him out and I loved it. He is absolutely amazing and everyone needs to hear at least one of his songs before they die lol.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most tragically under-rated musician ever May 9 2004
By Kellie
Format:Audio CD
When I hear all the music that's popular today it makes me sick to my stomach. How can people be listening to Simple Plan and Good Charlotte and other such horrible bands like them, when there is something as beautiful and as meaningful as this? Elliot Smith was genius plain and simple. Every single song on this cd is beautifully arranged and beautifully sung. I listen to this album almost every day and it just keeps getting better. Over all, I think this is Elliot's happiest SOUNDING record.(But that doesn't necessarily go for the lyrics) He is joyful, almost jubilant at several moments. Lines that stand out to me are: "I may not seem quite right, but I'm not f***ed, not quite" and "Bottle up and go, I can make it outside, I'll get through," which are just a cruel irony in light hat he plunged a butcher knife into his heart. Several songs on here are almost unbearably sad. Oh Well, Okay and Waltz #1 come to mind. One of Elliot's most valuable assets and one of the best things about this cd is his voice. He sounded like an angel. It moves me to tears no matter what he's saying. When we lost Elliot we lost something special. This album will change your life. Don't waste your time on the meaningless music you hear on the radio. Buy this.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The most tragically under-rated musician ever
I listen to all the music that's popular now and it makes me sick to my stomach. How can people be listening to Simple Plan and Good Charlotte and other such horrible bands like... Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Kellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better and better
I never write these reviews. In spite of a CD collection numbering close to 600, I don't write these kinds of things. Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by R. Goss
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay Album
I will give this album stars since he is dead and gone to the Gangsta lean why do they hit such young people why.
Published on April 19 2004 by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect to initiate you into the music of Elliott Smith
If you're looking to buy your first Elliot Smith album, XO is where I would start. I would recommend it to anyone that appreciates beautiful music. Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Karen Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Along with "Either/Or" this is undoubtedly his finest work..
Having already owned his previous album before this "Either/Or" I'm familiar with Elliot's remarkable talent, and his blend of Brooding Melancholic Singer/Songwriter indie Rock. Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by fetish_2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Elliott Smith, not yet forgotten.
I bought "Either/Or," one of Smith's CD in the summer of last year. And I've been listening to him ever since then. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004 by Chelsea
5.0 out of 5 stars Equally chilling and inspiring
I purchased this a couple of days following his passing, and being my first album of his, the sadness of the whole situation suddenly hit me. We had lost a real treasure. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2003 by Michael Kluge
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