From A Basement On The Hill Image

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

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Universal acclaim- based on 99 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. tom
    Oct 18, 2004
    this is an amazing album made from an amazing its simplicity it is beautiful.
  2. 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
  3. JayH
    Dec 7, 2004
    '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
  4. MusicLover
    May 7, 2006
    I thought this album was his best, and I didn't even know about his death until 2 years later.
  5. AdamS.
    Oct 20, 2007
    A swansong, hidden and obfuscated by those who understood his vision but dared not commit themselves.
  6. MikeM
    Aug 20, 2005
    A really good album that might not be his best but is up there. It definitely gets better with time
  7. JeromeH
    Oct 18, 2004
    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. Expand

See all 63 User Reviews