From A Basement On The Hill

  • Record Label: Anti
  • Release Date: Oct 19, 2004
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 106
  2. Negative: 4 out of 106

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  1. JeromeH
    Oct 18, 2004
    5
    This album is really not very good. It doesn't compare well with his older work, which wasn't all that great to begin with (in my opinion). I can guarantee you if Smith was still alive, the metacritic rating would drop 12-15 points. Dead musicians are always overrated. Yup, Hendrix, Cobain, Marley, and now Smith. You're rating an album, not giving a eulogy, fellas.
  2. [Anonymous]
    Oct 20, 2005
    10
    it is amazing it is a great legacy to the artist. and his music will live on with us forever.
  3. joes
    Oct 26, 2005
    8
    its a sad reality that the death of an artist can make his work more powerful. A better album than figure 8, but not the same league as his three earlier masterpieces. fond farewell would not be song it is if elliot was alive, it just wouldnt carry the same meaning. But the point is i guess that it just does - the whole album shimmers in tradagy - but music icons, geniuses shouldnt have its a sad reality that the death of an artist can make his work more powerful. A better album than figure 8, but not the same league as his three earlier masterpieces. fond farewell would not be song it is if elliot was alive, it just wouldnt carry the same meaning. But the point is i guess that it just does - the whole album shimmers in tradagy - but music icons, geniuses shouldnt have to die to make powerful, beautiful music Expand
  4. JakeL
    Nov 24, 2004
    9
    The only way to describe this album is to use a phrase often spoken of Elliott's work, "heartbreakingly beautiful." You forgive the mediocre job of sequencing (done by Rob Schnapf and Joanna Bolme) as well as well as "Ostriches and Chirping," because this is songcraft at it's best. This ranks right up there with XO.
  5. erin
    Dec 11, 2004
    10
    his best since either/or, and in my opinion, on a similar emotional level as taht album and Elliott's self-titled. Rough and imperfect in its technical production, but still flawless in its beauty--just like the man who made it.
  6. thefunkhunter
    Oct 22, 2004
    7
    Not one of his best. Album sounded sloppy, even though it was meant to sound sloppy i just don't think it worked. I am one of the biggest elliott's fans, although some of the individual songs rank among his best, his songwriting is inconsistent on this new album. Def overrated
  7. DennisD
    Feb 16, 2005
    9
    An incredibly moving collection of songs. Smith was an artist who, though apparently unable to cope with his own depression/demons, made music that helped others feel ok in being sad.
  8. KevinB
    Feb 1, 2005
    9
    Great album. Unfortunately, since Elliott was unable to finish the album himself, it's seems a little rough around the edges. All-in-all, a must have album
  9. TeganM
    Apr 23, 2005
    10
    mmm.. elliott
  10. matta
    May 27, 2005
    9
    A fitting swansong for Elliot. Ranks up there with his best work, including XO and Figure 8. Still though, you can't help but wonder as you listen to it how it would have turned out if Elliot was alive to decide the production, track listings, etc.
  11. MarkW
    Jul 10, 2005
    10
    the most underpapreciated artist in music history. This guy already was something incredibly special, and it pains me to think what he could have become if he had stayed around. In a time where the word "Genius" is used too loosely, this guy is/was a true genius.
  12. MikeM
    Aug 20, 2005
    9
    A really good album that might not be his best but is up there. It definitely gets better with time
  13. carlosa
    Nov 4, 2006
    10
    Nearly flawless record. I've listened to all of elliott's cds and this is easily one of his best if not his best ever ( even though all his albums were nearly flawless). His ability to write ridicously great songs and melodies only improved with age. With "From A Basement On the Hill" I feel like I am listening to the work of an artist at his absolute prime; he doesn't hold Nearly flawless record. I've listened to all of elliott's cds and this is easily one of his best if not his best ever ( even though all his albums were nearly flawless). His ability to write ridicously great songs and melodies only improved with age. With "From A Basement On the Hill" I feel like I am listening to the work of an artist at his absolute prime; he doesn't hold anything back. Expand
  14. ShaunM.
    Jan 6, 2006
    10
    The sequencing is near perfect. No one would have any complaints about it if Elliott hadn't passed away and it became a well-known fact that he did not do the sequencing on it. It's unfortunate that people are too musically immature to realize the genius of this album and how beautiful it is. Just because it's not easy to get into doesn't mean it's been sequenced The sequencing is near perfect. No one would have any complaints about it if Elliott hadn't passed away and it became a well-known fact that he did not do the sequencing on it. It's unfortunate that people are too musically immature to realize the genius of this album and how beautiful it is. Just because it's not easy to get into doesn't mean it's been sequenced wrong or is "sloppy" or lazily done. Let's face it, this album was ALMOST done, granted Elliott hand't put it final touches on it at all and we will never know how it would have turned out. (Probably better, yes). However, the songs are so good, it shouldn't matter what order they're in. This is musically and especially lyrically his best work to date, and it is obvious how he was maturing in leaps and bounds over time. All of his studio albums are masterpieces, and all for very different reasons. I think this should be looked at for it's musical genius and lyrical depth for why it deserves a ten. A near-perfect album from the most genius singer/songwriter of the last fifty-five years. Expand
  15. MusicLover
    May 7, 2006
    10
    I thought this album was his best, and I didn't even know about his death until 2 years later.
  16. Andy
    Aug 16, 2006
    8
    Not his best group of songs by a long shot, but that still means its better than 99% of anything out there.
  17. TylerV
    Jan 24, 2007
    10
    This album has so many unforgettable tracks. Any music collection that is absent of this album and the rest of Elliott Smith's catalog is indeed lacking. Every track is worth investing time into and when one does that, they will quickly find several of them to be simply haunting pieces of music.
  18. TomP
    Jul 27, 2009
    8
    So...it's pretty good. Let's just not get too excited.
  19. AlanR
    Nov 19, 2004
    10
    His death is one of the most tragic losses of my generation.
  20. SamB
    Oct 17, 2004
    9
    a bit different from his previous work, but fabulous none the less.
  21. MichaelC
    Oct 18, 2004
    10
    RIP Elliott. Best album of the year...
  22. TroyP
    Oct 19, 2004
    10
    I can't help but listen to this album and feel pain and loss. Yet, in Smith's inimitable way, I feel uplifited by every song. Elliott will be missed by every fan he had and those that this fantastic record makes fans out of.
  23. AaronS.
    Oct 20, 2004
    10
    Smith's final collection of songs is one of the years best CDs (if not THE best). Graceful, beautiful and very melancholy. And all the more moving considering this is his last work. Even though the final track layout was not completed before his death and the CD may or may not be presented as he originally envisioned it, its STILL a very strong CD. Most excellent.
  24. jayc
    Oct 21, 2004
    9
    Even if he was alive, this would still be his best album. The instrumentation is just amazing.
  25. ae.
    Oct 22, 2004
    8
    in all honesty this album is not as good as his older work. that said, i believe it's principally because he wasn't done making it when he died. the songs in and of themselves are pure-gold classic elliott smith material, just darker, thicker, heavier than ever before. a worthwhile gem from one of the only truly great melodist/lyricists of our age.
  26. JayH
    Dec 7, 2004
    10
    'Basement' is not an approachable collection of songs, and not easy to find a way into. However, it?s one of the most affecting musical achievements I've heard in many years. I'm hardly a big softy but I cried to hear Smith's beautiful goodbye to a world he no longer felt part of. If only he could have come to terms with living instead. It's not an album to 'Basement' is not an approachable collection of songs, and not easy to find a way into. However, it?s one of the most affecting musical achievements I've heard in many years. I'm hardly a big softy but I cried to hear Smith's beautiful goodbye to a world he no longer felt part of. If only he could have come to terms with living instead. It's not an album to shake the world but it will garner for itself some sort of classic status and no doubt a gradually increasing following in the years to come. Expand
  27. PaulH
    Oct 15, 2005
    6
    this album isn't as good as they all say, it's not bad but it's Elliott's weakest album. but critics always do this to people who have just died, just like George Harrison and Warren Zevon's last albums which also weren't that great. Still though Elliott Smith was amazing and he'll be missed.
  28. AK.
    Dec 1, 2005
    7
    As an album, this is great. As an Elliott Smith album, not so much. I like the music, but had Elliott not died, we all know it would've been so much better (LESS DISTORTED GUITAR!!!). I don't know why this has a higher rating than Figure 8.
  29. gregp
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    one of the best albums i've bought in a long time. I kept playing it over and over. i can not get enough of it.
  30. IsabelB
    Jan 5, 2005
    10
    This album, whatever else it is, is the kind of music that is hard to come across these days. Filled with raw emotion, and the kind of lyrics and melody that stay with you, not only for the rest of the day, but for the rest of your life. You can hear the torment in his voice, the pain in his music. This album is pure genius, in the rawest form.
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    It's simply wonderful -- bristling with pop masterpieces large and small, and reassuringly unburdened by Smith's deep-seated malaise.
  2. While it makes a lot of musical leaps (it's probably the most "experimental" work he's done), not all of them work, but there are still some great moments for fans of his work here.
  3. From a Basement on the Hill is a far better album than it has any right to be, with its bizarre sequencing and improbable ambitions.