What does it sound like?:
In these dark times there are few bright notes. However one small upside has been the unexpected releases of albums by artists who may not have released anything in this past year if this past year was normal.I am thinking Dylan and Bruce certainly but this Eels album has come out of the blue. I have been a huge fan since first hearing Susan’s House on the radio. Ever since I have bought every album and seen him on every tour. The last album The Deconstruction was a little disappointing so. it is really heartwarming to get a new album that stands up to his previous efforts. The first song anything for Boo is a typical Eels mid tempo opener but by track 3 we are into classic Eels territory with Who you say you are which questions whether a new lover is who she professes to be and there is a recurring theme of love gone wrng or an admission that he has screwed up. When the album was first announced I was intrigued by the title ‘Are you fucking your ex?’ and imagined it was E being lascivious and admitting to relations with his ex. I should really have known better- it is in fact a song where he is questioning where his lover is when he calls and she doesn’t answer ‘ i get that everyone likes sex but i really have to ask are you fucking your ex’. He has said that not all of his songs are autobiographical but I am not so sure. He either wears his heart on his sleeve or has an incredible ability to identify aspects of relationships that each of us have surely experienced in the past. I find his songwriting very easy to identify with and I love that despite enough adversity in his life he has the ability to remain upbeat. He also has great humanity – the title song Earth to Dora was written for a member of his touring entourage who was going through a bleak time and he wanted to lift her spirits. E has a very identifiable sound and there are very few songs that you could hear and not know immediately that it was Eels. OK is one – it is almost spoken word and he sounds like a clone of Lou Reed – most unusual.
Eels have written two of my favourite songs ever in The look you gave that guy and Climbing to the Moon. I haven’t played this album enough times yet to know if there is a song that is equal but my first impressions are that this will be up there in his extensive body of work. He has made this listener very happy with this release.
What does it all *mean*?
It means that E is back and feeling sorry for himself one minute and looking up the next. But he is back and that is good enough for me.
Goes well with…
Reflections on life and relationships. It is melancholy and uplifting too – not many artists can do that.
Might suit people who like…
Eels have their own sound – they don’t sound like anyone else but in terms of feel maybe Elliott Smith or Vic Cheshnutt.