The Eels - Meet the Eels PDF Print E-mail
Archived - Archived Rock & Indie Rock Albums
Written by TK   

The new releases from the idiosyncratic outfit, the Eels - “Meet the Eels: Essential Eels Vol. 1” (one CD and one DVD) and “The Eels Useless Trinkets: B Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2006” (two CDs and one DVD) - have enough material on them to keep one distracted at work for days.

All music videos on the accompanying DVDs are available for the first time on DVD, and are as creatively packaged as the music to which they have been filmed.  It is clear to the Eels ongoing fans, and the new fans which they continue to attract, that the multifaceted lead singer Mark Oliver Everett (aka E) is one talented man.

“Meet the Eels: Essential Eels Volume 1”, encapsulates the best of the Eels from their first decade featuring songs from the band’s 1996 debut, Beautiful Freak, and also the albums Electro-shock Blues, Daisies of the Galaxy, Souljacker, Shootenanny and Blinking Lights and Other Revelations.  The album also contains previously unreleased songs and also the Eels tune from the Shrek 2 soundtrack.  The DVD of this album is worth the money alone, and it would be fitting to have it projected onto a large screen at the beginning of a glam function with slightly dark undertones.  The Eels are one of those bands that are, paradoxically, half-joyous and half world-hating at the same time.  A significant amount of the tunes feature a “Shit Happens” tone.  In fact, at the beginning of the compilation itself, Mark Oliver Everett states that “Life is hard, and so am I”.

“Susan’s House”, featured on the accompanying DVD, is a perfect example of the sometimes implausible nature of the Eel’s lyrics.  Whilst Mark Oliver Everett spends half the time singing beautifully about “going over to Susan’s house” (so beautifully sung that you want to join him on the walk to Susan’s house), juxtaposed is the backdrop of lyrics about gunshot victims and bickering married couples.  “Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living” also has a striking chorus, but the lyrics once again have depressing undertones.  It is clear that Mark Oliver Everett is indeed a deep thinker.

The best of the “Eels Useless Trinkets” in my mind are the live versions of “Novocaine for the Soul” and “My Beloved Monster”, and tracks from various films such as Holes, Levity, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the End of Violence.  However there is an enormous amount of material to keep any listener interested.

There is such a plethora of music on the new release from this ultra-cool band that it is hard to know where to begin.  The Eels is a band that has kept its unique touch every step of the way, and this is to be applauded and embraced by a listen of these new releases.


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