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This recommendation is written by Casey A. Malik

Sometimes you write fewer words an album isn’t good enough for a full review, while other times you write fewer words because you’re so in awe of what an artist has achieved, you feel unequal to the task. Elliot Smith’s final album, From a Basement on the Hill, falls into the latter category. While it only exists in an incomplete, somewhat bastardized form due to Smith’s unfortunate death, it’s still probably his best album, fusing the bare folk songs about drug addiction of his earlier career with the variety of textures he used in his later albums. The sound is as harsh as the lyrics, which deal with not only addiction (though it pervades the album) but Elliot Smith’s discomfort with the commodification of his image and the state of society in general. Although it’s sad that it is his last album, it really is an appropriate culmination of his whole career, a final ‘fuck you.’