Elliott Smith: Various Artists - To: Elliott From: Portland

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Elliott Smith: Various Artists - To: Elliott From: Portland

Portland bands pay tribute to the late Elliott Smith

Nearly every track on this tribute to Elliott Smith sounds as if the artist is fighting back tears—not terribly surprising, given the melancholy source material. Several artists pull it off with graceful agility: Amelia contributes a sultry “Between the Bars,” and Smith's former roommate Sean Croghan solemnly sings the previously unreleased “High Times.” But not every group treats Smith's songs with kid gloves: Lifesavas's version of “Happiness” is part dance mix, part rap. While unlikely to appeal to the average Smith fan, the interpretation is a welcome change of pace on this assortment of tender love notes to the late singer.

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