Roman Candle [Reissue] - Kill Rock Stars
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Jeffrey Brown on March 30, 2010
Remastered albums can present a variety of problems for everyone involved, and the odds of keeping everyone happy is pretty much zero. Bonus material and deluxe packaging can become gimmicks to get diehard fans to buy something twice, while a lack of significant changes can raise the question as to why the album needs to be reissued in the first place. In the case of Roman Candle, the latter is probably true. Recording engineer and Elliott Smith archivist Larry Crane has barely tweaked the sound of the album so subtly that to tell the difference probably takes professional equipment, extremely close listening or being a diehard Elliott Smith fan. Not to say this is necessarily a bad thing, since the alternative could have been a new definitive version of the album that lost the lo-fi intimacy and heart of the original recordings. Lacking any attractive bonus tracks or B-sides, the reissue also lacks any aggravating changes to what most fans have fallen in love with. While casual listeners who already own this album can probably go without, it should still work well as a replacement for the old version in the Elliott Smith catalogue going forward, and being available on vinyl for the first time gives it a nice touch.