Eels : Classic or Dud

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Classic for me. For two reasons - 'Novocaine for the Soul' on TOTP in 1996 or whenever it came out, and 'Electro-Shock Blues' - an album of unique genius. Not sure about 'Daisies of the Galaxy' yet.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I don't know the albums, but they made two classic singles of the 90s. 'Novocaine for the Soul': as good as the title suggests and 'Last Stop: This Town', what "Odelay" was supposed to be, but wasn't. Don't know if that really makes them Classic, but they're no dud.

Omar, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

The Beck for people who hate all that awful hip-hop. The Elvis Costello quality forgot. A Dan Hill for the 'adult album alternative' generation, where appearing seemingly deep and meaningful makes more sense than actually being so. The male Vonda Shepherd.

Classic. In the sense of me wanting to beat E about the head with a fragment of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

The male Vonda Shepherd.

Wow. That's about the most hurtful thing I've heard anyone say about the Eels. If I was a musician and some described me, not as "a", but "THE male Vonda Shepherd", I don't think I'd ever stop crying.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Ned - in all seriousness, who is Dan Hill? I'm not taking the piss, I honestly do not know who Dan Hill is.

Now, if an artist is faking 'deep and meaningful' I'm right at the front of the queue to shoot 'em down. The only proviso is that if they sound fantastic, I'll let 'em off because I'm not much bothered about lyrics anyway. However in the case of Eels, I don't think he's a fake. I'm not that interested in E's wretched personal life and family tragedies, but he saw fit to bring them into his music, and I happen to think they make interesting and often funny listening. 'Electro-shock Blues' is ultimately a triumph of humanity over all the crappy things that can happen.

I haven't expressed this well, but I will later.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I like 'em. Never heard the first album. But the other two are pretty good. Plus the album art for "electro-shock blues" is cool, because it features some great comicbook artists like Seth and Joe Matt. And I really like the song "PS You Rock My World".

jel, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Good golly miss molly. Any performer whose art can encompass the spirit of both Vonda Shepard AND Dan Hill is clearly hinting at previously unimaginable possibilities. Move over, Richard Marx.

Patrick, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Some basic Dan Hill info:

I idly note he once did a duet with...Vonda Shepherd. FUCK.

I don't doubt the man's pain or his desire to turn it into art -- a reasonable enough thing to do under the circumstances. I just find his work and his band to be tedious smarm for the soul. In a word, boring. I don't so much hate the results as to find them vacuous.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

"Dear Dr.Pop.

I watched a performance by the band Eels on TOTP and felt impelled to put pen to paper. Onstage were not the performing eels I had been led to expect but instead a number of rough-looking people burbling meaningless nonsense over a rhythm which sounded like it had been cynically designed to pass some absolute mininum EU 'beat' guideline so as to get indie disco play. To pile lie upon lie, the song in question was neither "blues" nor "beautiful" yet claimed to be both. Dud dud dud dud dud dud dud dud dud. Who can I seek redress from for this?



Tom, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Dismissed by Ned, and now Tom! Oh my God, somebody back me up! Omar, Nick Dastoor... anybody!

I need to know if I'm part of the "adult album alternative" generation. NOW. Ned - only you can tell me this - what other albums do these people like. I won't rest until I know if I'm one of them or not. Also what DON'T they like? I might have something that they COULDN'T POSSIBLY like, and that would mean I'm not one, wouldn't it?

Let me try. Hang on... Erm, I used to have an AR Kane album..... Oh, and Hip-Hop is quite good..... I know... I like early Mercury Rev better than Deserter's Songs, it's crap the way they sold out isn't it. Ooh what about Outkast... and I like Atomic Kitten...

Dr. C, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Hip hop might do the trick. MAYBE.

Patrick, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I had a friend who was far to young for the "adult album" generation (17 at the time?) but nonetheless loved the eels. I always placed them more at the young-adult-album-angst category. Meanwhile, I hear that the latest stuff has lush excellent production, which I don't doubt.

Sterling Clover, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Well, you're not American, Dr. C, so by default you're safe. Me, I have to learn to define myself via resistance against the dread triple A. ;-)

If there's a pantheon of 'adult album alternative,' it would include:

Hootie and the Blowfish, _Cracked Rear View_ Moby, _Play_ Alanis Morrissette, _Jagged Little Pill_ the _Ally McBeal_ soundtrack that fucking Joan Osborne album with the stupid god song

Oh, and Sheryl Crow by default. Sorry Tom. ;-)

I know I'm missing a few here. Creed probably just slips under the wire now that the Gen X crowd is old enough to feel some nostalgia. You know, grunge but all cleaned up and made shiny and 'tasteful' about the joys of fatherhood. ARRRRR.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

hahaha Dr.C I got your back. You win some, lose some. But I can't be shocked anymore, what with the puzzling results of BROOOCE!: Classic or Dud. The FT readership is not to be trusted ;)

Omar, Thursday, 1 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Ned, I'm puzzled more than ever. The pantheon you describe is kinda what I expected - what you see in every yuppies' small CD collection. Add Everything But The Girl and it's complete. These artists are all utterly worthless, except perhaps Moby, but I don't want to debate that here.

What confuses me is how anyone can consider Eels to be REMOTELY in the same ballpart as this lot. I think you're way off the mark. Way off.

Dr. C, Thursday, 1 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

For my part I ought to point out that while I've not enjoyed the other stuff I've heard by Eels, I didn't think it was awful either. My dismissal is entirely based on that one dreadful, DREADFUL single.

Tom, Thursday, 1 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Dud, but "Beautiful Freak" sounded semi-classic on Blue Jam (mind you, even Beth Orton did).

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 1 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Around here, Dr. C, it makes *very* perfect sense. LA is a bad place to be when it comes to corporate radio and the resultant cliques.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 1 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...
OK, right now, "Daisies of the Galaxy" isn't just the best Eels album ever, but the best album of the past.... 17 years? That sounds right. "Packing Blankets", "Tiger In My Tank", "Jeannie's Diary": its like a crush tape by your stalker. Except 20 times more fantastic.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

My judgment still stands, but I haven't even thought about this dude in five years.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 6 February 2006 17:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Eels are OK. I like my pop music a bit more upbeat, but I can understand E not feeling too upbeat, considering his tragic personal life.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 6 February 2006 22:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If you look up the word Dud in the ditionary the Eels photo is right next to it. Unbelievably dud. That Blinking lights cd was a real snooze a thon.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 00:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think the Eels in their prime were maddeningly classic ("daisies", "electro-shock", about half of "souljacker") but even the less impressive stuff (Blinking lights and Shootenany) still isn't half bad...also, jaw-droppingly good live.

Sigh. Dan:Placebo :: Ned:Eels. Oh well.

John Justen (johnjusten), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 01:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The "Blinking Lights" album was IMO their best since their debut.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 01:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Costello's got more filler than the Eels.

Well, maybe the same amount.

Which is a lot.

don weiner (don weiner), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 01:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Eels are great. Better than 90% of what this board triumphs.

cdwill, Tuesday, 7 February 2006 01:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have to admit that I initally liked the Eels but they wore thin fast.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 01:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i listened to the new double album once and couldn't bother myself to listen to it again. i really love souljacker and the first one, though.

Christopher Costello (CGC), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 01:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Tiger in the Tank" from Daisies is quite nice indeed. My girlfriend has every record and likes them a lot, so I've manage to hear every record. That song along with "Friendly Ghost" off of Souljacker and perhaps "Love for the Loveless" from Shootenanny are my favorite moments on Eels records but no one gives E credit for these offhand pop ditty moments, which represent his greatest strength in that he can write a catchy tune. Those parts get overwhelmed by the moments when you feel you have to take him seriously as a lyricist.

"Cancer for the Cure" from Electro-Shock Blues is the most cringeworthy in the latter respect. That line about "Grandpa's in the Bedroom watching video porn" or E, your grandpa is not watching video porn and the concept is a not all that provocative. More often than not what I get from E are these really shallow, or mid 90-ish attempts toward conveying cynicism.

theodore (herbert hebert), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 06:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, of course it is. 'Blinking Lights' was the best album of 2005 for me, and this was the true masterpiece of Eels, even better than 'Daisies Of The Galaxy'.

zeus (zeus), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 10:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Easily one of my favourite bands. Blinking Lights may be my favourite album ever.

Of course, all this has context behind it--Blinking Lights means things to me that most likely aren't felt by others, so I doubt I could engage in any kind of academic discussion over it.

Also, "Get Ur Freak On"!

tissp! (the impossible shortest specia), Tuesday, 7 February 2006 11:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

So yeah End Times is sounding great on first listen, huge improvement over the last one.

you gone float up with it (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 17 December 2009 17:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

That song (from Hombre Lobo) and video is world class:

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Can't remember which review site, but one of them was complaining about E's lyrics. Maybe it's just me, but I thought his lyrics always sucked. And I like the Eels, too. It's just that every once in awhile I hear something that makes me want to roll my eyes.

musicfanatic, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 20:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

But yeah, End Times sounds better than the last one.

musicfanatic, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 20:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

I really like the opening 30 seconds of Flyswatter. It sounds like the opening credits to a really great sci-fi TV show.

ampersand (remy bean), Tuesday, 6 July 2010 17:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

apparently they're releasing another album in August -- 7 months after the last one -- and they're all part of a trilogy. dude needs to chill imo.

some dude, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 18:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

new album, anyone care of hear it

after party for the apocalypse (Ross), Monday, 16 April 2018 03:03 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I heard half, it was okay

Frederik B, Monday, 16 April 2018 08:57 (eleven months ago) Permalink

about right, he's been on auto-pilot in the songwriting department for awhile - a formula that seems to have originated on Daisies (which is great).

Classic up until Tomorrow Morning and diminishing returns afterwards, the eels orchestra show remains one of the finest performances i've seen to date tho

after party for the apocalypse (Ross), Monday, 16 April 2018 18:28 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Haven't heard the new one yet, but man was his brief talk with Marc Maron was depressing even though E sounded in good spirits.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 16 April 2018 18:29 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I enjoyed the first six or seven Eels albums, but at some point it became a case of "how many Eels albums do I actually need?"

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 16 April 2018 18:46 (eleven months ago) Permalink

^^ this is fair.

I went back to check out Cautionary Tales and I think I'd just keep the last two songs from that one.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 16 April 2018 19:30 (eleven months ago) Permalink

tomorrow morning is really good, new styles of production etc

after party for the apocalypse (Ross), Monday, 16 April 2018 20:06 (eleven months ago) Permalink

how man Eels albums does anyone need: one, Electro-Shock Blues

I mean I am a fan of Beauitful Freak in a nostalgic way but it doesn't even come close

boxedjoy, Monday, 16 April 2018 20:55 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I disagree. I prefer Daisies of the Galaxy and Blinking Lights and Other Revelations to either Beautiful Freak or Electro-Shock Blues (which has some great stuff on it but is supremely overrated, IMO)

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 16 April 2018 21:19 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Daisies is pretty much on par with electro shock for me.
Blinking lights and souljacker also classic

after party for the apocalypse (Ross), Monday, 16 April 2018 23:37 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Electro-Shock Blues and Daisies Of The Galaxy are the only essential Eels albums for me. Beautiful Freak and Blinking Lights are decent too, but not in the same league. Everything since Blinking Lights has passed me by completely. Sounds like he's on autopilot no matter what style he tries. Not sure I can be bothered with the new one.

kitchen person, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 02:06 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Souljacker is underrated, I think... 'Fresh Feeling' is one of my favourite Eels songs, and 'Bus Stop Boxer' and 'That's Not Really Funny' rule.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 06:01 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Blinking Lights... has 'Trouble With Dreams', 'In the Yard, Behind the Church', 'The Other Shoe', 'Old Shit/New Shit', 'To Lick Your Boots', 'I'm Going to Stop Pretending that I Didn't Break Your Heart', 'Losing Streak' etc. - it's completely in the same league as Daisies, IMO.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 06:13 (eleven months ago) Permalink

souljacker is absolutely underrated - parish brought a lot to that record to make it wild and wacky in the best way

also blinking lights is totally solid.

after party for the apocalypse (Ross), Tuesday, 17 April 2018 07:13 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I bought ‘Cautionary Tales’ but can’t remember what it actually sounded like. Based on the single from the new one I think I’ll pass.

Another vote for ‘Souljacker’ being very good. I think ‘Blinking Lights...’ was the last Eels record I found properly engaging.

michaellambert, Tuesday, 17 April 2018 08:21 (eleven months ago) Permalink

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