User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 100
  2. Negative: 1 out of 100

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  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. 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.
  3. 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!
  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. 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.

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.