Seth Avett, Jessica Lea Mayfield: Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith

A heartfelt, intermittently great tribute to the late songwriter

Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

Elliott Smith's all-too-brief career inspired a generation of artists taken by his piercing lyrics and delicate melodies. On this loving, hit-or-miss tribute, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield draw largely from Smith's 1997 breakthrough, Either/Or, and his posthumous work. Mayfield provides the highlights with her grunge rendition of "Roman Candle" and her elegant take on "Twilight." But the real revelation is how well such deeply personal material lends itself to interpretation. You're left marveling less at these adequate covers and more at Smith's foolproof songbook.