The best vault-cleaning release since Syd Barrett’s Opel suffers only from its brevity.
These songs are phenomenal. Yes, some of them are already known to fans from the mis-marked Basement II comp. that originated on Elliottsmithbsides.com, but these remasters are far superior to the crappified MP3s. In addition to previously heard lost treasures like “Placeholder” and “Whatever (Folk Song In C),” there are songs almost entirely unheard by fans such as “First Timer” from just before Smith switched to Dreamworks, and “Go By” from the Either/Or sessions. Songs range in type from the Nirvana-esque “High Times” (somehow Smith captures the essence of Nirvana’s noise using only an acoustic guitar) to the sweet and heartfelt cover of Big Star’s “Thirteen.”