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Electro-Shock Blues

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Album Review

The Eels' second release, Electro-Shock Blues, is a much darker album than their underrated debut, 1996's Beautiful Freak, but just as rewarding. Singer/guitarist/songwriter E experienced many upheavals in his personal life between albums (the passing of several family members and close friends), and decided to work his way through life's tribulations via his music. The result is a spectacular epic work, easily on par with such classic albums cut from the same cloth — Neil Young's Tonight's the Night, Lou Reed's Magic and Loss. For some of the most introspective and haunting tunes of recent times, look no further than the title track, "Last Stop: This Town," and "Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor." And although the lyrics deal almost entirely with mortality, the music for "Hospital Food," "Cancer for the Cure," and "Going to Your Funeral, Pt. 1" is comparable to Beck's funky noise, while "Efils' God," "The Medication Is Wearing Off," and "My Descent Into Madness" are all ethereal, soothing compositions. One of the finest and fully realized records of 1998, a must-hear.

Customer Reviews

(Electro-) Shockenly Good Album.

The second album by "E"'s band The Eels contains some very different themes compared to the pop-driven debut. Overall, this CDs has very strong stand-alone songs, from the slow "Going to Your Funeral, Pt. 1" to the upbeat "Last Stop: This Town". The music is very catchy and the lyrics are witty and appropriate (for each song, it never sounds cheesy). Although every song is enjoyable, it's the flow of the whole album that makes it so great. It starts off very dark and depressing. But as the CD progresses, "E" seems to be working it out and becoming a strong man because of his experience. It's hard to put in words, but it's a wonderful album.

A lush foray into death

This is conceivably one of the best albums ever made. I have owned it since it was released, and have listened to it over and over and over, never tiring of it. E's focus on death, spiced with an interestingly eerie backdrop of samples, loops and musical textures make the album one of the most interesting and personal ever to have come into existence. Perfect listening for when you are alone and tired.

Poignant to say the least

This album is pure beauty. I can't possible say enough good things about Electro-shock Blues. E has a gift of writing understandable lyrics, adaptable for his listeners' everyday situations. As dark (and inspiring at the same time) as this album may be, these are songs that will stick with you for a long time. E-SB is without a doubt Eels' finest recording, but don't let that stop you from exploring the rest of their music. In addition to this, try "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations," "Beautiful Freak," and "Daisies of the Galaxy." Eels are by far the most underrated artists of our time. Strangely, I think he prefers it that way.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Eels are often marketed as a full-fledged band, singer/songwriter E (real name: Mark Oliver Everett) is responsible for the group's sound and direction. Born in Virginia on April 9, 1963, Everett became interested in rock music at an early age via his sister's record collection, and began playing drums at the age of six, as well as tinkering on his family's piano. As the years progressed, Everett found himself leading a troubled teenage life, which was further complicated by his father's...
Full Bio
Electro-Shock Blues, Eels
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