From A Basement On The Hill Image

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 98 Ratings

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  • Summary: The late singer-songwriter was nearly done with this highly anticipated album at the time of his death in 2003.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Freed from the more formal sound and circumstances of his previous work, Smith indulged without being indulgent, and the revelation here is the exuberant, instinctive, playful and daring sonic pilot who was hidden inside the meticulous craftsman of such albums as "XO" and "Figure 8." [10 Oct 2004]
  2. 100
    Exquisite, angry, sad and personal, basement is a beautiful swan song of one of this generation's best.
  3. 91
    Smith's intentions cry out from the album's every discordant corner--he clearly wanted to test himself, to unhinge parts of his sound. [Nov 2004, p.105]
  4. The low-fi yet meticulous arrangements only add to the sense of isolation and the poignancy of the songs. [18 Oct 2004]
  5. This is largely intense, liberated stuff. [Nov 2004, p.111]
  6. This final record is neither focused nor infallible, instead a rarer glimpse at a man whose creative doorways, once the source of so much hope and inspiration, had become outnumbered by his demons.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 63
  2. Negative: 0 out of 63
  1. Aug 17, 2013
    Maybe this isn't the fairest review, because I'm a huuge Elliott Smith fan. I do feel like this album has a rawness that is invigorating, particularly on the rock tracks. Some of his finest picking resides here as well. King's Crossing is one for the ages, and the sequencing totally works. This is amazing stuff. If you're not a fan, I don't really get that, and if you are then you don't need my encouragement. All the same, pick this up. Expand
  2. Jun 6, 2012
    The best Elliott Smith album, I wonder how it would turn out if he was still alive. Its so sad how much sadness he carried. It seems often that the people with the most talent and soul are taken so soon. Expand
  3. Mar 7, 2011
    It would have been interesting to see what sequence Smith would have chosen for the album, but if anything, the jumbled order and unpolished masterpieces adds to the charm and mystery of the record. Some of the unfinished songs recorded at the time, such as 'See You In Heaven' would have made this album one of the greatest pieces of music in the last 60 years. Very nearly a perfect record. Expand
  4. Aug 14, 2011
    By no means an easy listen, but a remarkable album in every regard. Tracks like A Fond Farewell and King's Crossing, and Coast to Coast are among the most affecting Elliott ever made. I still think Either/Or is his best album (partially because every song on it is brilliant, but largely because it has extreme highs to match it's extreme lows, which unfortunately can't be said for most of his work), but criticizing someone for making an amazing album just because I don't think it's their magnum opus would be silly. Expand
  5. Mar 25, 2011
    Works on every all levels in my opinion. Composition, vocals, production and weirdness. For all sorts or reasons, I've avoided knowing any more about this artist or his albums beyond what is recorded and in the liner notes. Regardless, Mr. Smith's collection seems forgotten way too soon. Even in the alt. music media. I consider this album a standard of the era and the genre. Dare to compare! Expand

See all 63 User Reviews