Home > News & Reviews > Eels

Eels - The Deconstruction (Album Review)

Thursday, 12 April 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

The term ‘auteur’ is derived from cinema criticism, and describes a director whose personal vision can be seen in every part of their films; from script, to music, to set design, and so on.

Over the years, the term has been used to describe Eels singer-songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, and that is probably down to two factors: the hugely distinctive musical aesthetic the Eels present, and the cinematic nature of the work itself.

A good example of this balance on his new album, ‘The Deconstruction’, is Bone Dry, a track full of boomy ‘90s hip-hop drums, moody soundtrack strings and gloriously grim, desperate lyrics: “A little laugh, a crooked smile / Don't lift a finger while I lay dying [...] Bone dry / You drank all the blood.”

It is reminiscent of Eels’ 1996 album ‘Beautiful Freak’ and, like much of their catalogue, presents Everett’s gloomy worldview in a strangely neat package.

Elsewhere, In Our Cathedral and Premonition deal with death and loneliness in profoundly affecting terms. The latter is an acoustic guitar track that combines a distant spirituality alongside a kind of lo-fi bitterness: “The world can be a real mean place when no-one’s got your back.”

Everett has been afflicted by numerous traumas over the years - Eels’ 1998 LP ‘Electro-Shock Blues’ dealt with the death of his sister and his mother’s terminal lung cancer - but he often manages to convey the hopelessness of these situations with a kind of quixotic humour, and it’s as distinctive now as it was two decades ago.

But, while Eels have not stood still, there is a tonal consistency in their work that can jar. One of the drawbacks of being a musical auteur may be that it means honing a particular way of operating throughout a whole career. As such, anything that veers out of that space struggles: Today is the Day does so here, and Epiphany is another.

‘The Deconstruction’ may not reinvent Eels, but it demonstrates an amazing commitment to a particular sound, alongside occasionally fabulous songcraft. Everett’s is a remarkably distinctive voice, and long may it continue to ring out.

Eels Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon July 02 2018 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Tue July 03 2018 - MANCHESTER Academy
Wed July 04 2018 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Fri July 06 2018 - DUBLIN Iveagh Gardens

Click here to compare & buy Eels Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




You May Also Like:

It's Loud And Wild, But I Swear It Feels Soft: Beach Slang's James Alex Talks Quiet Slang
Thu 17 May 2018
When we think of Beach Slang, we think of screaming our lungs out with our best friends, t-shirts soaked with sweat and beer, as a man in a crushed velvet jacket leads a dive bar chorus. We certainly do not envision being brought to the brink of tears by the gentle melodies of the same songs after they have been recast with a hauntingly beautiful orchestral backdrop. But that’s the alchemy at the heart of James Alex’s Quiet Slang experiment.
Loneliness and The Solo Artist: Jess Abbott Talks Tancred's 'Nightstand'
Thu 31 May 2018
Photo: Shervin Lainez One of the enduring challenges facing any writer is making people feel as though they’re in the room, and experiencing things in real time. On ‘Nightstand’, the new Tancred album, Jess Abbott’s solution is to load up on specifics.
Peace - Kindness is The New Rock and Roll (Album Review)
Tue 15 May 2018
When Peace burst onto the indie-rock scene five years ago, amid a maelstrom of tie-dye t-shirts and reverb-smothered, well, everything, it was clear they wanted to sound big. The Worcester four-piece set the foundations with their debut LP, ‘In Love,’ and built further with its grander follow-up, ‘Happy People’. But, as ‘Kindness is The New Rock and Roll’ shows, bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Parquet Courts - Wide Awake! (Album Review)
Thu 24 May 2018
Photo: Ebru Yildiz On their fifth album, Brooklyn art-punks Parquet Courts have served up a menagerie of dreamy psychedelia, jagged thrash rock, and political balladry.
Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer (Album Review)
Wed 06 Jun 2018
Photo: Emma Tillman No matter how dark and miserable a Father John Misty record may seem, there’s always an undercurrent of irreverent wit that allows for at least some semblance of light to cut through the gloom.
Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel (Album Review)
Wed 23 May 2018
Despite its familiar elements, Courtney Barnett’s mix of Nirvana-aping guitars, Alex Turner-esque observational writing and sun-soaked insouciance have made the Melbourne singer-songwriter one of indie-rock’s freshest and most exciting artists.
Blossoms - Cool Like You (Album Review)
Thu 10 May 2018
Did you hear the one about the band who recorded two versions of their second album, and then released the wrong one?
Ash - Islands (Album Review)
Thu 31 May 2018
Some albums make an instant impact, others take a little time to reveal their charms. The quick-fix magic of the former often wears off swiftly, while the latter usually possess a depth of quality that screams ‘built to last’. With that in mind, any initial feelings of disappointment towards ‘Islands’, the seventh effort of Ash’s eternally youthful career, should be shelved until its stealthy allure has been given the opportunity to sink in.
 
< Prev   Next >