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XO (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 1980

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Many albums could be cited to support the claim that great suffering yields great art. Elliott Smith's XO should not be one of them. Smith's 1998 major label debut defies the 'tortured singer-songwriter' stereotype, and takes up this defiance as a central theme. At a time when Smith was being groomed for a particular (and particularly condescending) brand of stardom, he produced a record that eviscerated one of the central assumptions of singersongwriterdom: that pain is beautiful. XO insists that romanticizing personal tragedy can only leave you 'deaf and dumb and done.' And it backs up this claim with some of the most artful and intelligent music of its day. Matthew LeMay writes an original take on a widely beloved album, steering clear of the sensationalist suicide angles that have dogged most analysis of Elliott Smith's extraordinary work.

Biographie de l'auteur

Matthew LeMay has been a staff writer at Pitchfork Media since 2000. His band, Get Him Eat Him, will release their second album in the summer of 2007. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0xa15bd7b0) étoiles sur 5 16 commentaires
72 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0xa143f27c) étoiles sur 5 This Book Was Done Properly! 6 avril 2009
Par Larry Crane - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I was allowed to fact check and was interviewed for this book and I feel it's one of the better things to come out about my friend. The second half, examining Elliott's portrayal in the media, is a great "setting the record straight" for this amazing artist.
-Larry Crane, Archivist for the Estate of Elliott Smith/recording engineer/producer
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0xa143f2d0) étoiles sur 5 Changed the way I listen to XO/Elliott Smith! 13 avril 2009
Par Jason Li - Publié sur
Format: Broché
XO is one of my favorite albums, and after reading this book, I am able to appreciate it in a new, deeper and more nuanced way. Lemay strategically employs Smith's own words, whether it be in an interview or in his lyrics, to steer us to an interpretation of XO that seems closer to what Smith had originally intended. (Larry Crane's review above affirms this idea.)

The book is split into two parts: Part one is a guided tour of the subtleties buried within XO (both lyrical and musical). Part two is about why we, as listeners, should free ourselves from the romanticized yet simplistic image of Smith painted by the popular press.

Both parts are extremely well researched and it shows: Lemay has amassed and analyzed quite a back catalog of Elliott Smith demos, live shows, interviews, reviews, on top of having conducted his own interviews with Smith's friends/collaborators.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to enjoy this album more, and to understand Elliott Smith as a human being who is more than just a "sad guy singing sad songs."
16 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0xa143f708) étoiles sur 5 i so badly wanted to like this book.. 10 février 2010
Par Brandon Vosika - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
First off, let me say that i am a huge fan of all Elliott Smith's albums. And usually i really enjoy the 33 1/3 line of books.

So naturally, i thought i was going to really enjoy reading this book. I'm very sad to say though, that i didn't.

In comparison to other books of 33 1/3 that i have read, there is VERY little interview/ fact based stuff in this book. and very little about the process of writing or recording XO. it really is mostly what the author thinks about the album and everything else. his opinion.

What this book is made up of, essentially, is a bit on Elliott Smith around the time the XO was made, a lot on what the author thinks Smith's lyrics 'mean' and then some on how he first heard of Smith, how Smith's music effected his life.. things like that.

Being a musician and writer myself, i'm just so damn tired of people taking lyrics and breaking them down. down. down again. - analyzing everything. it might be hard for some people to believe but sometimes the words
musicians sing aren't a cryptic code that needs to be cracked.

I'm surly not saying that Simth's lyrics aren't amazing because i think that they are. and they deserve to be heard and felt. But what i am saying is that i did not enjoy reading page after page of a random guy picking apart, quite literally, every single lyric on the XO album (including the B-side songs).
This author has had no connection to Smith. he talks in the book about not even really liking Elliott Smith or XO until about 2006. i can't help ask myself the question, 'why is he writing this book?'
Some of what he said i agreed with, some i didn't. some of what he said was obvious, some was vague. it was just kind of boring. But more so, it felt a bit pointless to read this book.

Listen to XO yourself, see what YOU think about what Smith is saying and singing. How does it make YOU feel?
thats what should matter.

It makes me feel really sad to say it but,
i just don't feel that anyone who has thoughts of their own about the album XO needs to own this book.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0xa143f6f0) étoiles sur 5 Not Very Insightful 27 décembre 2010
Par Nathan Cole - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I am a long-time Elliott Smith fan and was looking forward to a peek into how this great album came into existence. What I got however, was a song-by-song overview comprised of the author's interpretations of the lyrics. This would have been less problematic if the end result didn't come across so much like a college freshman trying to meet a length requirement for an essay, not to mention the fact that the late Smith's lyrics do a very good job speaking for themselves.

There are some nice quotes from Larry Crane and other outside interviews and I enjoyed the time taken to track the evolution of certain lyrics, but overall I came away feeling I know very little about the process of making the record, which is a shame.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0xa143fbdc) étoiles sur 5 good look behind the scenes 31 juillet 2009
Par TBo - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
interesting look at what went into the various ES favorites in the studio......recommended for ES fans who are musicians
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