Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Eels - Meet the Eels


Despite the title of this collection, I met the Eels way back when they released their first album, Beautiful Freak.  The Eels, aka Mark 'E' Everett, are another of those artists whose CDs have disappeared out of my collection over the years, damn it all.  I bought Meet The Eels as I missed tracks from the first three albums like Flyswatter, Susan's House and Mr. E's Beautiful Blues.  Then there's I Like Birds, which includes one of my favourite couplets:

If you're small and on a search, 
I've got a feeder for you to perch on

But it's the tracks from Eels fourth album, Souljacker, that really rock my boat, despite it being in the collection.  First up is the very Stooges-inspired Souljacker Part 1, followed by That's Not Really Funny and another desert island mixed tape song, Fresh Feeling - there is something about it that makes me smile every time I hear it.

What follows is his cover of Missy Elliott's Get Ur Freak On, both relevant and inspired.  I really don't know if he's taking the piss or what, but I don't care.  He has a history of fucking with audiences who request 'the hits', so I wouldn't be surprised.  If you haven't seen or heard about when he invited Afroman to sing his hit song Because I Got High, on stage at a show in Vienna, check it out here.  Afroman never sounded better.

The rest of the collection (it's a long one too, at 24 tracks) are from albums I'm not familiar with but have resolved, having fallen for the latter tracks like Dirty Girl, Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) and the tragically beautiful I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart.  This is pure genius and we have to add another few more discs to our collection.  In this case, I'm sure we won't ever be disappointed.  

VERDICT: TURN IT UP and put it on repeat


For some reason when YourZ added his CD collection to mine, I came in with a preconceived notion that The Eels were some sort of prog/jazz/instrumental/ambient outfit.  No, seriously.  I didn't even try to listen to Souljacker, which was the only album of theirs that originally made it into Chez YourZenMine.  For - oh, about three or four years, if you can believe that.  How wrong was I.

This collection (and it's a long one, let me tell you) is full of some of the most beautiful indie-pop I've ever heard.  YourZ has gushed enough about it that I don't really need to, but I want to anyway!  I mean he does do a fair bit of button-pushing in the studio - but not on every track.  He doesn't cloud his songs with effects, he just adds the merest dash here and there - like a delicate seasoning bringing out the real flavour of each song.

He knows well enough to employ some great musicians.  He'll do stripped-back when he wants to.  And his lyrics are a complete delight.  I mean, I guess I can understand why he's not better-known - I mean the world thinks Coldplay and Celine Dion are pretty cool - but this stuff is, as my dear husband has said, pure genius.  As much as we can have in our collection will never be too much.


For more information http://www.eelstheband.com/

In our collection, we also have: Souljacker

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