Elliott Smith: Between The Bars

First the bad news, Elliott Smith is gone -- now the good -- the song, "Between The Bars", like all of Smith's ouevre, even like great Chinese take-out, is imbued with a unique sweet and sour sound or flavour, and like Chinese food it leaves you hungering for more 15 minutes later. Stir-fried in a pot and in a method that have history, much in the same way that Elliott Smith was ancient and sweet, sour and fresh, all within the same song (and come to think of it, in photos as well) -- this 2 minutes and 20 odd seconds of music is a bruise made audible. Black, blue, and purpled was and is the flag waved by Smith and his music - a flag cut from the same bolt of cloth as Brian Wilson. It's just that Elliott Smith's art was Wilson, and his sweetly choraled sadness, distilled from an ocean to a single, trembling drop.

Alan Williamson

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