Mar 9, 2015

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Album Review: Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith

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Seth Avett (The Avett Brothers) and Jessica Lea Mayfield are set to release their album of Elliott Smith covers on March 17th titled simply as Seth Avett And Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith. By doing this cover album, Avett and Mayfield are allowing fans of the late Smith to relive his music in a very unique way. After three years in the making, fans of both Smith and these two exceptional singers will not be disappointed.

With their beautiful tones and exquisite harmonising, this cover album will reach new heights. What is apparent is that Avett and Mayfield both connect to the album in the way that is expected with the intense lyrics Smith himself wrote.

Baby Britain shows the beautiful tones complementing each other in the most devastating way allowing us to experience the admiration they hold towards Smith and his own musical abilities. Other wonderful songs are Somebody That I Used To Know’, Ballad Of Big Nothing and the beautiful song Memory Lane, bringing a close to the album.

Memory Lane is full of overwhelming lyrics, ‘Isolation pushes past self hatred, guilt and shame/To a place where suffering is just a game’. Avett and Mayfield make this song sound a lot more haunting than Smith ever did. The soothing harmonisation works brilliantly allowing us to experience the heartache that comes with the song and ultimately Avett and Mayfield’s love and admiration for Smith and his music.

The only downside with this album is that the true sound of the exceptional Elliott Smith has been lost through the tones voices juxtaposed together. This however allows Avett and Mayfield to make this album more of a tribute, allowing them to work with Smith’s songs and make them their own, whilst allowing us to experience the loss they feel towards the incredible artist who was Elliott Smith.

Rachel Allman