Saturday, December 17, 2011

Song #52 of 9999 - Pitseleh by Elliott Smith

Song #52 of 9999

Title: Pitseleh
Artist: Elliott Smith
Year: 1998
Album: XO

I feel a little bit like Elliott Smith has been forgotten. Unlike most artists who die too young, his music seems to have gone out of fashion rather than being immortalized. Perhaps I just overestimate his initial popularity? Maybe, but I think it has more to do with the complexity of his songs. They're not easy in any way. Even those that appeared on his earliest albums, which give the illusion of being simple due to the low fidelity and stripped-down arrangements, are complex musically and personal to the point of making you feel like you're eavesdropping.

I was going to post "Independence Day," which has the type of snaking chromatic chord progression that defined Smith's unique style. But the song that really grabbed my attention this morning while listening to XO for the first time in many months was "Pitseleh." Some of the lyrics in this song destroy me every time I hear them. When he says "I'm so angry/I don't think it'll ever pass," it must resonate with anyone who's ever struggled against their emotions. Truly one of the saddest songs I've ever heard, it can wreck you if you're in the right/wrong frame of mind.

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