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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Eels - End Times 2010

Every Eels album is a little treasure and something to be looked forward to with great relish in our house. The atmosphere and style of each LP are always slightly different with E tinkering about with variables such as rockiness, graveliness, geekiness and level of melancholy. Having said this, 2009's 'Hombre Lobo' was not exactly a premium offering, more a stopgap to tide us over until the next classic album materialised. So it was with some trepidation that I listened to 'End Times'. Would it be more of the same? Was 'Blinking Lights' the zenith of E's career? Could it be a cracker?

I shouldn't have worried. 'End Time' sits somewhere between 'Blinking Lights' and 'Electro Shock Blues' in terms of style and content, and is surprisingly rounded and satisfying instalment in the life story of Mark Oliver Everett. Apparently based on the themes of loss and broken love it doesn't sound that uplifting, but once the melodies and the gravely vocals kick in you know it's a winner.

There are some classic tracks on the LP which will probably make the 'Best Of' collection which says it all about the quality on offer. 'End Times' is philosophical and romantic, 'Unhinged' is a catchy take on lost love, and 'Gone Man' is E's warped impression of the Beatles. Weirdly, I'd have to go for the lullaby qualities of 'I Need a Mother' as my favourite track, it's been stuck in my head for weeks and refuses to go away.

This is the second part of a trilogy of LP's that began with 'Hombre Lobo' and ends with 'Tomorrow Morning'. Here's hoping that the third chapter continues the upward trend and builds on the success of this great album. I'm saving 'Tomorrow Morning' for a rainy day; you can get too much of a good thing.


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