Enough time has gone by that I now really appreciate how sad it is not to have another Elliot Smith record to look forward to. Towards the end I suppose my expectations and anticipation for his work had become somewhat muted, having enthusiastically ground every record, including those with his earlier punk effort Heatmiser, into a kind of exiled admiration. But “New Moon” features largely outtakes, covers and unrealeased gems from the mid-nineties, his pre-major label heyday, is a welcome farewell to those who never really took the time to mourn.
You will not find another side of Smith buried within this beautiful double album, but you will get the chance to hear him covering Big Star’s classic “Thirteen,” and stripped down versions of the overexposed but beautiful “Miss Misery,” as well as another twenty or songs good enough to be included on almost any of his previous works. There are those who find his music sad, but they are superficial and unworthy. In his melancholy, was the soul of a man looking for happiness, purging it beautifully onto a handful of albums to an audience of adoring fans who would take this theorhetical sadness and turn it into joy.