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Figure 8
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Figure 8

17 April 2000 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2000
  • Release Date: 17 April 2000
  • Label: Polydor Associated Labels
  • Copyright: (C) 2000 SKG Music L.L.C.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 52:04
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KSGZ0U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,469 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Zorro on 24 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Elliott Smith's death this week hit me really hard; I've not experienced the loss of any of my heroes before. I had been checking his official site for months, awaiting news of the follow up to Figure 8, one of my favourite albums of all time (and certainly my favourite of Smith's, just edging out XO and Either/Or). So to be greeted with news of his demise was a massive shock.
For me, Figure 8 edges out his other full-production piece, XO, by virtue of not having a bad song amongst its 16 (even the quick instrumental that brings the CD to a close is strangely haunting, and aptly titled "Bye"). Either/Or - the last of his *acoustic* records, lacks the interest of Figure 8, although the songs are, as ever, fragile and poignant.
Figure 8 is one of those albums that when you first hear it, you like the sound, but nothing stands out; however, it grows with repeated listens, and where albums that instantly gratify tend to become irritating, works like this sound eternally fresh. The album is replete with sumptuous melodies, but they are not obvious ones. The pace is mostly gentle, but the songs don't blend monotonously into one and other; however, they do sit wonderfully side-by-side, and it sounds like an album from a man with one vision, rather than a collection of ill-suited sketches.
If I had to pick out one song, it would be Can't Make A Sound, which starts with a whisper but builds to the album's climax proper (before the addition of Bye). It seems apt that a man who took his own life in dramatic circumstances should have ended his final album (work in progress on his sixth album pending) with I'd better Be Quiet Now, Can't Make A Sound, and Bye...
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "thecaptain75" on 28 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Following his recent suicide, there is bound to be an upsurge of interest in Elliot Smith's music. Some might see this as hyporcritical; I myself simply see it as the simple fact that sometimes it takes news like this to raise awareness that somebody even existed.
That taken into consideration...I have been a fan of Elliot Smith since around 1998 and, although I've not listened to him so much recently (due to it being three years since he had released an album and the fact I had recently bought several other albums) he has remained one of my favourite songwriters and I had been eagerly looking forward to his sixth album.
When I heard he had died, the first thing I did was stick this (his last and my favourite CD) on and was reminded how wonderful it is.
Despite his reputatation as a sad acoustic troubadour, this album displays a range of talents from the piano-led "In the Lost and Found" to the snarling rocker "Junk Bond Trader" while final song (bar a closing instrumental) "Can't Make A Sound" has shades of Mercury Rev or Flaming Lips in use of effects and production.
Obviously Nick Drake and the Beatles remain reference points but it must be pointed out that Smith was no copyist and I truly feel his best moments could not have been written by anyone else. "Everything means nothing to me" and "Happiness" in particular shine here although, perhaps even more so due to what has happened, it is the quiet melanchony "I'd Better Be Quiet Now" that sticks in the mind and may be used as an urgent comforter on lonely winter nights. The line "If I didn't know the difference, living alone would probably be ok, it wouldn't be lonely..." is to my mind one of the most heartbreaking lyrics ever committed to disc.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "flyswatter_1983" on 17 April 2001
Format: Audio CD
"You're a little bit like God!" I remember someone shouting as Mr Smith took to the stage at last year's Glastonbury Festival. You won't find any "bigger than Jesus" claims from the modest American but in a current music that makes Bono look distinctly saviour-like Figure 8 is certainly an album that deserves to be listened to religiously. In a world of mundane, manufactured puppets Elliott Smith is a man you can trust. Figure 8 is one of those perfect hazy summer soundtracks that you could easily let wash over you, but to do this would be to miss the beauty of the record. Listening to Figure 8 you can't help but feel buoyed by the shimmering eloquence of the tunes and yet the lyrics are of such a crushing, heart-breaking nature that you almost feel guilty for enjoying listening to this out pouring of anguish. It is the way in which Smith conveys his torment that makes him undoubtedly one of the finest lyricists around. As he harmonises, Simon and Garfunkel style, through 16 tracks of social commentary, anecdote and emotion Smith sings with such humanity and feeling that his songs have the power to really touch you. Easily Elliott Smith's best work to date, Figure 8 adopts a more rock 'n' roll feel musically on songs like the outstanding 'LA' and Stupidity Tries' but still contains plenty of Smith's signature ballads ('Everything Reminds Me Of Her' and 'Somebody I Used To Know' being the pick of these). Sounding more gloriously fragile than his previous efforts the most powerful moments of the album come during these ballads when Smith's vocals are at their most delicate. Around a year on from its initial release Figure 8 still fails to be recognised by the majority of the record buying public and this album of astonishing beauty looks confined to being one of the lost jewels of 2000.
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