I guess we can call it the next logical step in the Pacific Northwest ‘s music scene: mope folk. I guess it’s what you get when you take grunge, remove the testosterone rage, add even more heroin and unplug the amps. Elliott Smith, the gentle, pock-marked misfit who probably showers once a decade is the poster boy for this brand of twee rock that isn’t afraid to use the word “fuck” and sing thinly veiled songs about intravenous drugs. It’s clear from the outset that this is not a happy man we’re dealing with here. He sounds precariously perched on the edge of the wagon–ready for any excuse to fall. There are some hints at his past involvement with Heatmiser, but the pop drive has been layered with delicately plucked acoustic guitars and subtle harmonies. The vision of Smith writing these tunes sitting on a bare mattress in a squalid, studio apartment is more than palpable. I have no idea if this is the case, of course, but one can’t help but feel the lonely and claustrophobic dirtiness of the whole thing.