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4.8 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 25 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00000AEF9
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,293 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Sweet Adeline
2. Tomorrow Tomorrow
3. Waltz #2 (XO)
4. Baby Britain
5. Pitseleh
6. Independence Day
7. Bled White
8. Waltz #1
9. Amity
10. Oh Well, Okay
11. Bottle Up And Explode!
12. A Question Mark
13. Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands
14. I Didn't Understand

Product Description

Product Description

Japanese version featuring a bonus track: "Miss Misery".


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

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Audio CD
The first album I ever heard of Elliot Smith was from the movie "Keeping the Faith." It was his song "pitseleh", from his album XO. This was enough to make me go out and buy the album, and I have yet to be disappointed.
There are two things that make this musician stand out in a crowd. First comes his incredible music. His harmonic textures and rhythmic off-beating constantly combine to create a much needed breath of fresh air in this bubblegum pop world. I didn't realize how tired I was of the same old songs (and the same boring song form, ABA) until I listened to Elliot, and found his songs so beautiful in their difference. Second, his lyrics are extremely beautiful and very well crafted. This is not easy pop with lyrics that don't mean anything important (or are already familiar because they say the exact same thing as every other pop band). Elliot tackles hard subjects such as depression and lonliness, and yet can balance it out with a song about personal change from something ugly into something beautiful ("independence day").
So it comes to this: though it's not quite polished, and can sometimes be a bit inscrutable, Elliot Smith's music is profound nonetheless. XO is, in my opinion, one of the best examples of this and well worth anything you pay for it.
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Format: Audio CD
I must have listened to this album at least once a day every day this week with either/or thrown in a couple of times also. I walked past my floormates room, bled white was playing and I had to ask him who it was. I felt so stupid when he told me, seeing how this was all i was listening to for the past seven days, so as pennance, I'm forcing myslef to write this review.
I didn't get into Elliot Smith until a couple of months ago. My friend started me listening to a lot of Badly Drawn Boy and after that I was left looking for more emotionally unstable male singer-songwriter types. I always liked Ben Folds but I needed more. Enter Elliot Smith. He practicly made up the genre and still noone has been able to top him. I think that the production on this album was deffinately overdone, but still, the strength of the songs dictate that I give this album all five stars. My favorites are sweet Adeline, Waltz #1, baby Britan, and of course bled white. Its a shame that both he and folds were never able to recapure the same magic in their later releases.
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Format: Audio CD
It surprised me to see the proliferation of 5-star reviews for this one. When I first heard it, I couldn't help feeling a little let down, although I wasn't nuts about Either/or for that matter. I think they're both decent enough to stand on their own, with this one having slightly more filler, but neither measure up to his stellar debut Roman Candle or the following year's Eliott Smith on KRS when it comes to raw emotional intensity. Sweet Adeline begins with his solo-voice over guitar Nick Drakeisms and then, as if flipping a grand middle finger to longtime fans of the spare grace of the first two albums, lets loose with not only with drums and a full band, but also 64 tracks of overdubbed glockenspeil, harpsichord, trumpets, and seemingly every other noisemaker in his reach. Tomorrow, tomorrow is good. Classic Eliott. So is Pitzeleh and the two waltzes, the second of the two, apparently written for his mom, is probably the most gorgeous piece of tunage on this platter. Unfortunately, for every genuinely inspired morsel of pop euphoria, there's an Independence Day or Amity or Ah Well, OK that sort of just move around in front of the listener in a hookless morass of almost-drippy overwrought words and 23-piece horn sections. Musical kudos to Elliot for the performance of just abount every instrument heard on the record with just a few exceptions. I think one of those talented Waronker progeny plays drums. All in all a decent artist-finding-new-sound type of effort. I don't think it's the best place to start for an aspiring Elliott fan, but I guess that depends on whatcha like. He's clearly leaving his past behind on this one and scoping new ground. Crotchety old indie folks will just have to watch in disillusion as he cruises off and never looks back. He belongs to the world now.
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Format: Audio CD
The first time I'd heard Waltz #2 was during a drive. I heard it again the same day, and knew it would be a tremendous hit. Unfortunately, I missed the name of the artist and two painful weeks passed before the sparkle of the song flashed again on the radio. I pulled to the side of the road, determined to catch the name - Elliot Smith. I purchased XO with the feeling that it probably could not possibly contain another single song to compare with Waltz # 2, either in feel or flavor. Boy, were my ears ever so pleasantly surprised. Any avid Beatles/Badfinger fan, such as myself, will be charmed senseless by this man's melodic variance and vocal tone and range. His voice echoes the clarity and frailty of Paul McCartney's, while also carrying the growel and falsetto that John Lennon so cleverly fused. And he accomplishes this without the pretense of a copy-cat. You just know he's for real. Smith's got talent beyond anyone I've heard in many, many years. I play his CD for strangers, and they constantly rave, "Who is this guy?" My only complaint is the radio hasn't warmed to him nearly so much as he is deserving. "PLAY HIM MORE!" cry the Smith-starved ears in radioland.
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