Like most people, I became familiar with Elliott Smith following his appearance at the Oscars a few years back. I picked up a single and was impressed enough by it to search out this album.
Just considering XO as an isolated release Elliott Smith is my favourite singer-songwriter of the late 90s. I’ve always loved his lyrics, I found his warm yet fragile voice soothing and he knew his way around a great tune. The production of XO is spot on, giving each instrument enough room to make their presence felt without any of them being overpowering or lacking impact.
XO is one of those albums where I have always struggled to pick favourite tracks, as they’re all great and different ones hit me every time I play it. Tonight “Waltz No. 2”, “Baby Britain” and “Bottle Up and Explode!” are hitting the spot with pin-point accuracy, but the next time I play XO it will be another group of tracks having the effect on me. Half the time just the curiosity of which tracks will leap out at me this time is enough reason for me to play this album.
XO is one of those albums that I have continued to recommend people over the last few years, it has been a great stand-by gift for those people whom I am at a loss what to purchase, as it is always well received no matter what the individuals taste in music is like. XO is just one of those albums that has a broad appeal and has the ability to enrapture almost anybody who listens to it.