Wonderful, Glorious marks studio album number ten for the man called ‘E’. After ten albums, countless world tours and a backlist of songs on par with The Beatles, E shows no signs of slowing down – his deep pool of songs still offering up gems on his most recent record.
Although some tracks can remind seasoned listeners of past melodies, this is a side effect of an artist that has stayed true to a musical course of serving up a mix of beautiful, melody driven songs and raw Tom Waits-esque rockers. Wonderful, Glorious isn’t the album I’d suggest to a newcomer; however it will surely hold its own in fans collections amongst the other nine albums. In fact, I’ll now conclude my review in two parts. The first for newcomers, the second for seasoned fans.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Eels. Eels is Mark Oliver Everett, a man from LA with a knack for writing, and sometimes cleverly disguising, great pop tunes. With a love of layering various instruments and sounds to create these songs, his latest offering Wonderful, Glorious mixes his stripped back pop tunes with his edgy, distorted and almost rockabilly side. With a vast back catalogue of ten studio albums and many soundtracks; compilations and live releases, you are more than welcome to try this new offering as a first taste. However, this reviewer recommends you go back to the beginning and make your way through chronologically. We’ll meet again once you’ve made it through. Enjoy the trip.
For long-term fans, here’s a short wrap up. The new record is worth picking up, as you’ve no doubt already done. It’s part Hombre Lobo, part End Times, with most of the album leaning toward the fuzzed out E-rock of Hombre. Yep, he’s still in werewolf mode, however the soft underbelly is shown at times. First track Bombs Away will be a great addition to his live set, and other standouts include On the Ropes and The New Alphabet. However you already know this as you are a fan and have already got the album. See you at the next show. Oh, and remember the time the band played in their pyjamas? Ha! And the time he sang Susan’s House into a telephone hooked up to his mic? Gold.
BY CAM EWART
Best Track: On the Ropes, Bombs Away
If You Like This You’ll Like These: Bone Machine TOM WAITS, The Idler Wheel… FIONA APPLE
In A Word: Wonderful