figure 8
written by christophe conte, taken from les inrockuptibles, 19 avr. 2000

on its new album like at least on the two precedents, elliott smith still carrying out an impressive succession of perfect gestures, about fifteen meticulous and dazzling three minutes air ballets, without the external world appears y to have the least taken, neither a beginning of hollywood glory (after the bo of good will hunting and american beauty), nor the greeting usually reserved for its discs. more stripped than xo, figure 8 joins again partially with impressionism folk of either/or, a folk however vaudevillesque and packed. not a centilitre of sweat does not stop the mechanics of precision of these songs straightforwardly fallen from the sky, not only one grimace of effort does not deform of it the radiant air, amazed, opened out as if they were prayers of extase or of offerings in spring. even the sometimes run up against and vitriolized words seem to descend silk toboggans to land on the sparkling scum of a sound kind of paradise where harpsichords and chords accomodate them in brass band. one of the most beautiful pieces of figure 8, everything means nothing to me, could besides without reddening to be reproduced on abbey road, and the essence of what smith written with the chain is located about at this level of altitude. and it would be necessary to be protected from one crowned bark doubled out of teflon not to plunge the head the first in the pathos which this buckled voice and these cruelly piercing melodies evoke. figure 8 is still a disc of exceptionally gifted hardware dealer, large an eight whose first as the hundredth gimlet immediately cause a state of hébétude admiring and fusionnelle joy. even if it remains the last to be defended some, elliott smith is the songwriter which, during ten last years, will have sent us in the air.

thanks to mully