Sweet Adeline

  • Artist: Elliott Smith
  • Album: XO
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • Year: 1998
  • Producer: Elliott Smith, Rob Schnapf, Tom Rothrock


Doubled (tripled, or more) vocals are a frequent part of Elliott Smith's sound. There are many great examples worth studying throughout his body of work. This tune gets special attention because it offers some contrast: the first half of the song is a single, fragile vocal track over acoustic guitar. Then, at about 1:30 the song soars with layered lead vocal, plus layered harmony vocals, plus a fuller band arrangement that adds drums, bass, and piano. Double-tracking, as a starting point, can alter the timbre and the texture of a track. That is one reason to do it. This mix shows how it can also add a grandness, a larger-than-life-ness to the track. It's a sonically stunning way to let the vocal reign supreme even as the band tracks take it up a notch.


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