InTune Two [5]

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Welcome back to another episode of InTune! This week, I have another special guest, Lila Benjamin. We will respectively be rating a full album that consists of “sad” music. 


Lily: For me, I’m reviewing “Grace” by Jeff Buckley. Jeff Buckley has some of the best songs out there in the game, and it’s evident through this album alone. When reviewing these songs, I won’t go into detail about lyrics or meaning specifically, unless I feel something is honorable to mention. I will be talking mainly on length, and vibe when listening to the song. 


  1. “Mojo Pin”

This song starts out feeling like a song that belongs in the game, “What Remains of Edith Finch.” “Mojo Pin” from a first-listen sounds so beautiful because of how much natural talent he has naturally. I’m not a fan of the sudden switch towards the end of the song, but it flows into one of the best sounding verses I’ve ever heard. This song is gorgeous, just a little too long for my liking, because I can’t focus on a good day. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “The welts of your scorn, my love, give me more.”


  1. “Grace”

The intro to “Grace” sounds like what I expect a Jeff Buckley song to sound like, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because of “Hallelujah”, another song on the album, I thought that this song would also be a religious song, but to my surprise it’s not. This song, while still being long, doesn’t feel long at all. If there’s anything Jeff Buckley loves to do, it’s produce a long song, with the most alluring vocals in between his choruses, bridge, etc. Overall, this song is one of the best on the album. The chorus is catchy and ties the song together into a huge bouquet. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “And the rain is falling and I believe my time has come.”


  1. “Last Goodbye”

The beginning of this song lowkey gives NatGeographic documentary vibes, due to it sounding wild, in a sense. But of course, the song drifts into the typical Jeff Buckley sounding song. Overall just from the title, this song is devastating, especially if you’re into a sad but upbeat song. This song has the backtrack of what I imagine as Billy Joel meets Jeff Buckley and had a song as a baby. This song also feels really short. While this song is good, it’s not the best on the album. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “You didn’t know him at all, oh, you didn’t know”


  1. “Lilac Wine”

This song is honestly really boring. I mean, “Lilac Wine” is lyrically gorgeous but like speed wise, I’m bored. While it does have a buildup, it just doesn’t build up to what I want it to be. The song otherwise, is amazing and definitely good, no doubt, but the slowness and how dragged out his singing is doesn’t make me WANT to hear this song. Of course, his singing matches and it sounds good. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “Listen to me, I cannot see clearly”

RATING: 2.8/5

  1. “So Real”

This song is by far one of my favorites and probably most on repeat in my day-to-day playlist. The backtrack alone is alluring and makes me want to listen to this song for five years, uninterrupted. The switch from his “slowness” is quick, yet his voice is soft but assertive, comparable to the guitar in the back. This song is perfectly balanced and honestly a song I would recommend to everyone to listen to. This song is also long, just like every other Jeff Buckley song, but it’s tolerable and enjoyable, even. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “I love you, But I’m afraid to love you”


  1. “Hallelujah” 

I am not a fan of religious music at all, but Jeff Buckley made one of the best versions of the ever-so classic “Hallelujah” I have ever heard. It’s probably one of the most gentle songs on this album. ‘I can’t really complain or praise this song, it’s not amazing, it’s not awful, just not my cup of tea. I also can’t stand how slow this song is, but I get why it is slower.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “And love is not a victory march, It’s a cold and broken Hallelujah”
RATING: 2/10

  1. “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”

This is the famous TikTok song that has at least 170.5k videos on the viral audio. While this song is really good, I think now it’s been overplayed and overused on many platforms, not just TikTok. This song is honestly so long it hurts my brain and I find myself skipping through this song often. It takes until 4:30 ish to finally build up, which is just too much time to wait for the climax of the song to hit. While overall, it’s pretty rough, the lyrics kind-of make up for it. The lyrics and story behind this song are honestly what sells this song. It’s got its lows and highs, overall just being a pretty solid song but nothing that wows me. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “So I’ll wait for you, love – And I’ll burn – Will I ever see your sweet return?”

  1. “Corpus Christi Carol”

This song is the shortest on the album (thank God.) This intro, he sounds like Tiny Tim, in a way. I thought this song would be better for me, because of how short it is, but overall it’s nothing special. There’s no moment in this song that is exceptionally amazing and makes me want to listen to it on repeat. The song as a whole is just ok, nothing exceptional. 



  1. “Eternal Life”

This song gives the vibes of listening to the rock radio station in my dad’s car during summer of 2018. This song is also around four minutes long, which is too much for my brain as well, but it’s not bad until the last 40 seconds. I don’t hate this song, but it’s just not a star song from this album. It’s honestly entertaining to hear and changes enough to be different and listen-able. This song is just meh, but good, if that makes sense. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “You better turn around and blow your kiss hello to life eternal, Angel.”

RATING: 3.5/5

  1. “Dream Brother”

This song is gas, godlike even. I have no complaints about this song (Shocking seeing as it’s five minutes long) and it by far is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a pretty long time. I simply just like the song, there’s nothing exceptional, it just sounds so good. The story of this song is intriguing and by far my favorite and most interesting from all the songs. This song has sleepy vibes, but not, if that makes sense. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “And your kiss on the lips of another. Dream Brother with your tears scattered round the world.”

  1. “Forget Her”

“Forget Her” is actually my TOP song from the whole album. As much as I adore this song, putting it into word is impossible and all I can say is; listen to it yourself, because it is honestly one of the best songs on this album by far. 

FAVORITE LYRIC: “Don’t fool yourself. She was heartache from the moment that you met her.”

RATING: 5/5 

Lila: I’m reviewing the album “Either/Or” by Elliott Smith. Similarly to Jeff Buckley, Smith died young under strange and dispiriting circumstances. The 1997 album is the most popular of his, containing a total of 12 essential sad songs. Now, you may be asking, “Lila, what gives you the credentials to review this artist?” Which is the part where I can find an excuse to brag that I was in the top 1% percent of listeners for Elliott Smith on my 2023 Spotify wrapped. I’m reviewing each song on a lot of different things, but mostly the emotion and 


  1. “Speed Trials”

This is more like a rainy day song than a sad one. I can just imagine myself drawing or reading while it’s storming. I like the way it’s sung and the chorus. I think the acoustic softness of his voice and the audio for the track is noticeable in some modern artists today. It’s interesting to see how impactful his songs are to so many people. The reason the quality is like this is because it was originally recorded on a 4-track cassette at his girlfriend’s apartment. Though the line delivery is extremely catchy and cozy, I wouldn’t say this song is my favorite. It’s definitely up there though. 

          Favorite lyrics:  “He’s pleased to meet you underneath the hearse 

in the cathedral with the glass stained black” 

          Rating: 3.9/5 


  1. “Alameda” 

This song has that classic Elliot Smith tone, it’s good. Just looking at the tracklist made me forget what it sounded like, but upon hearing it I was pleasantly surprised. Even if I don’t necessarily enjoy it as much as other songs or other albums, it still holds up as a solid piece in the artist’s discography. I can’t pinpoint an exact issue with it, so I think it just doesn’t really pique my interest. If you’re relaxed or want something classic, I’d say this is a good song. 

Favorite lyrics: “Nobody broke your heart

You broke your own ’cause you can’t finish what you start”

Rating: 3/5 


  1. “Ballad Of Big Nothing” 

This was my first Either/Or song, so it holds a lot of personal resonation. I listened to it a lot in my Junior year, especially around halloween. The lyrics talk about something similar to a parade in the beginning, which makes me think of the fall foliage one held in downtown Hollidaysburg. It’s nostalgic. According to Genius, this track is described as “a tongue-in-cheek song about a disenchanted, drug-addicted loser,” which is way off to what I assumed. I interpret it as someone facing hardships but still going onwards with life, even if they’re unhappy. It also reminds me of the movie Donnie Darko from its solemn yet uncaring tone. Ballad Of Big Nothing seriously helped me when I was swamped with work in the spring or just unhappy for other reasons. He uses his softer singing voice for this one, which cue’s the sad theme of the lyrics. Even if I’m in a good mood I’ll still enjoy the perfection of this track. I think the only thing swaying me from giving a 5/5 is the fact that he has similar, better songs on other albums. It just isn’t particularly original. But nevertheless, I love it. 

          Favorite lyrics: “You can do what you want to

 there’s no one to stop you” 

          Rating: 5/5 


  1. “Between The Bars” 

Between The Bars implies the imprisonment of alcoholism. Elliott Smith’s notoriety began with the forming of his band Heatmiser. After disbanding, Smith started to struggle with drinking. This is also featured on the soundtrack of the movie “Good Will Hunting.” I love this song. It’s a classic, sad tune. Something interesting I found out is that the “bars” in the title are meant to represent a mouth, and that drinking can be considered between the bars. I think it’s really clever. So much thought has gone into this album and I really appreciate that. 

Favorite lyrics: “that push and shove won’t bend your will” 

Rating: 4/5  


  1. “Pictures Of Me”

I’ve always liked the title of this one because it reminds me of “Pictures Of You” by The Cure, which is my favorite band ever and also leagues better than The Smiths. But back to the song. It pains me to say that this one never really stood out to me, because I know a lot of people like it. I do love the sad tone of Elliott’s voice though. The melancholy chorus adds to the theme of the song. 

Favorite lyrics: “Flirting with the flicks

You say it’s just for kicks”

Rating: 2/5


  1. “No Name No. 5” 

Saddest song on here. I have to skip it unless I’m in a particularly horrible mood. The first chord immediately makes me jump up and skip it on my CD player. The lyrics are so simple yet earth shatteringly sad. I think it’s some of his best work. I don’t really have any complaints about it. It’s very clear how much he loved his girlfriend through his lyricism and emotion. It really sucks hearing other people’s sadness be put into such elegance, as it makes you feel what the singer is trying to express. This one’s a mood killer. I think it takes a lot more than people realize to create something that is truly sad, especially when it’s meant to resonate with others who may be going through a similar situation. This is a song that properly holds the desolate feeling of regret. 

Favorite lyrics: “Got a broken heart and your name on my cast” 

Rating: 5/5


  1. “Rose Parade” 

Another favorite of mine. This one is also about parades, which is fun. I get the same nostalgic feeling here. Honestly, I think this is one of the top 3 best songs on the album. It has a deeper meaning of parading a fake personality, but I see it otherwise. I think of it as a cute love song about people going to a parade. Maybe it’s a first date. The annual Portland Rose Festival is actually a thing, and upon discovering that now I want to go to it. My only complaint is that the lyrics are repetitive, but that’s clearly on purpose like a lot of other songs. 

Favorite lyrics:  “Throwing out candy that looks like money

To people passing by that all seem to be going the other way” 

Rating: 4.8/5


  1. “Punch And Judy” 

I actually had to google the origin of the title, but “Punch And Judy” was a traditional live puppet show where Punch and his wife Judy would fight. The lyrics accurately portray the puppets while being relatable to people in the real world. It’s unique. I can’t really put my finger on it, but this song sounds like something else I’ve heard before. I like it though. It’s another breakup song of his that encapsulates the emotions behind the album. I have nowhere near the amount of creativity Smith has, because the last thing I’d do for a sad song would be to talk about two random puppets. I’d say this song is solid, but can blend in to the rest of the album and be kind of bland. It’s definitely up there on my list for the acoustic guitar solos and tone. I’d like to give a 5, but there are some lacking qualities unfortunately. 

Favorite lyrics: “Can’t you ever treat anyone nice” 

Rating:  4/5   


  1. “Angeles” 

A fast song is always good. It starts with a glittery acoustic guitar, easing into singing around 40 seconds in. I interpret the lyrics as “Angeles” being a personification of making money. Getting a job is a commitment that some just can’t handle healthily. Especially while dealing with depression and a lack of inspiration. It can make people cruel and obsessed with money, or the complete opposite. The meaning could also be defined as a toxic relationship. Overall, the quick and witty pacing matches the condescending tone that Smith purposefully uses. The guitar backing is happy, which adds to the evil intentions behind whoever “Angeles” is or represents. I think the lyrics are genius. It begins with the author disagreeing with the name, but then begrudgingly accepting their call. It’s a downward spiral to whatever bad thing is meant to be in the song. My only complaint is that it’s forgettable. Which is sad for how much detail the track has. 

Favorite lyrics:  “And be forever with my poison arms around you.”

Rating: 3/5


  1. “Cupids Trick” 

The guitar backing reminds me of “Needle In The Hay” from his other album. This is another song that reminds me of those good coming-of-age-movies that have a darker tone, like “Donnie Darko” or “Speak.” I think the emotions in this song are a reckless acceptance rather than a saddened defeat. Being upset doesn’t just mean to cry, it can put people on edge and make them want to act out. This song feels like the build up to something while also pertaining to acceptance. The instrumental build up is so amazing. I wish the lyrics held up for me, but they’re a little too repetitive. Even then, It’s understandable why this is. A good word to describe things here would be mania. Things have gone wrong and the author accepts it, but not without an undertone of hysteria and regret. 

Favorite lyrics: “Cupid’s trick comes down to shake and deal” 

Rating: 4/5


  1. “2:45 AM” 

This is the perfect song for when you’re sad, but don’t have the emotion or time to process what is making you upset. This track is about not having someone you care about be there for you. The lyrics are more impactful than his other sad pieces. I’d say this is accurately titled as the perfect 2:45 AM song. It gives me that nostalgic feeling I’ve brought up before, along with memories of spring and summer. I have no complaints here. The reason I take off a star is simple: I just think there’s better displays of perfection on “Either/Or.” As I mentioned before, it is hard to make a truly sad song. In no way am I saying this track lacks in the sad department, but it isn’t as tear-jerking as “No Name No. 5” or a song I wish was on this album for me to review called “Miss Misery.” 

Favorite lyrics:  “looking for somebody’s arms to wave away past harms.”

Rating: 4/5


  1. “Say Yes” 

Gotta get this out of the way, but yes, this is his most popular song and one of his many features from the movie Good Will Hunting (Which I somehow still need to see). Even though it’s extremely overplayed and I guess some hardcore fans would call you a “poser” for claiming it as your favorite, this is one of the best songs ever. Even though it wasn’t my first song, Say Yes got me into Elliott Smith as a whole. I’ve cried to it so many times it’s not even funny. I don’t think I’m able to pick just one favorite lyric here. But this track is recorded on a live session album as well, which is just as good and heavily recommended if you like any of Elliott’s work. He wrote this song in five minutes after ending his relationship with his girlfriend. Smith wanted a poetic conclusion to an emotionally turbulent record. The song includes the joy to be had in the future and the joy of the past that the two cannot create anymore. It works for any breakup, especially those in high school. In my eyes, the song is about realizing that life goes on after something extremely important to you ends. But I’ve also learned to accept it as a teen girl anthem more than anything relating to a relationship due to some of the lyrics. For such a simple piece, it’s perfect. I have no negative feelings about it. This is one of those songs that make you want to get its lyrics tattooed.  

Favorite lyrics:  “i’m in love with the world 

through the eyes of a girl 

who’s still around the morning after”  OR “Crooked spin can’t come to rest, I’m damaged bad at best” 


Rating: 5/5 


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