Album: Elliott Smith, An Introduction to (Domino)

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The Independent Culture

A figurehead of US indie before his untimely 2003 death, the man dubbed "Mr Misery" may need no introduction to many, but any re-affirmation of the singular vision beyond the sensitive stereotype is welcome nonetheless.

Just as these 14 songs detail a litany of despair, so they also capture his sardonic humour, searing anger and the acuity of his Beatles-like songcraft. The real shame is the short shrift given to his fuller-bodied, later albums XO and Figure 8: a case of lo-fi snobbery on the compilers' part?