Dismiss all such preconceptions when listening to singer/songwriter Elliott Smith.
Even as production values on his albums improved, as music execs and critics alike anticipated super-stardom and reknown that would never be for Elliott Smith, his quiet brilliance was never lost beneath the layers of strings and other effects. The soul of the man with the acoustic guitar could be heard across his inventive, catchy, moving chord progressions and soft vocals - and he was never that irritating coffee shop guy. He was quite possibly the best songwriter of the 90s, whose best work is hearfelt, deeply sad, deeply touching, and deeply emotional.
Elliott Smith was found dead in November of 2003; he'd apparently commited suicide.
We miss you, man; your music is beautiful.
For the uninitiated - check out the albums "XO" and "Either/Or".