Label: Kill Rock Stars Release date: 06/04/10 Website: Kill Rock Stars Website At this point, with the legendary status that Elliott Smith has achieved since his tragic 2003 death, it would be pointless to devote a large number of words to convince you that his music is worth your time. So to save time and space, his music is worth your time. However, this particular remastered edition of Roman Candle may not be the best place to start. Larry Crane obviously intended to improve Roman Candle with his remaster, and I suppose that in a strictly technical sense, he did. While the results don’t achieve the high fidelity that Smith’s later works like Either/Or and XO presented, Crane’s remaster adds a level of gloss that wasn’t on initial pressings of the album. Did you notice how I said earlier that he “technically” improved the album. That’s my major gripe. I would have no qualms about allowing a classic album to be tampered with if it results in an improvement, but where Roman Candle receives a sonic boost it suffers an emotional cut. The amateur recording qualities on the original master were endearing. Those acoustic guitar squeaks that were so present on “No Name #3” and “No Name #4” are still present, but they are greatly diminished. Such sonic neutering is the theme of this remaster. All of the offensive qualities are subdued, but that doesn’t really come across as a good thing, especially when those offensive mistakes were such an integral part of the original album. It makes the album something you’d be more likely to play for your mom, but it takes away from the bedroom feeling that the original recording had. So the verdict? This remaster of Roman Candle isn’t terrible. The songs are still outstanding, and if you were hoping to hear the songs without as much of the lo-fi aesthetic then this is right for you. Diehard fans might be upset though, it is certainly easy to see how this might be interpreted as a cash grab by an indie label in the middle of an economic crisis. Photobucket