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The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (Deluxe)

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Mark Oliver Everett (a.k.a. E, a.k.a. Eels) is rarely a chipper dude. It’s understandable, considering the life he’s had. His dad (quantum physicist Hugh Everett III) was a remote genius, while his sister committed suicide and his mother died from cancer. Anyone familiar with Electro-Shock Blues knows the details. Cautionary Tales shares this confessional vibe. “Agatha Chang” is brutal and beautiful, an acoustic guitar piece with orchestration and vocals that recall early Randy Newman records. “Series of Misunderstandings” turns up the creep factor, with a music box accompanying an ethereal melody. Without the standard rock band approach (drums are scarce, though found on the catchy “Mistakes of My Youth”), E relies on subtle arrangements of fingerpicked guitars and orchestrated keyboards to create an extended missive on love, loss, and his usual existential woes. “A Swallow in the Sun” pushes forth a dreamlike aura alongside a gruffer E vocal. At this point, E is writing for fans who know his story. The deluxe edition adds six bonus demos and six live radio performances that are for those fans.

Customer Reviews

Best .......

I've been listening to Mark Oliver Everett / E / Eels for a long time. This CD is set to become my favorite of his after just two listens. To me he is a complicated singer / songwriter that is at his very best when the songs are personal. This is personal and the songs seem to come from deep inside the mind of E.
I love it.


I’ve been an Eels fan for some time, but this is horrible. I couldn’t get past the fourth song on the first try it is so depressing and Mark’s voice sounds terrible.
There are a couple of respectable songs, but for the most part this work sounds as if Mark drank a bottle of tequila then headed to the studio full to put his sorrows down on these tracks….

a painful sleep-fest

I am going to see the Eels in June. It will be my 7th live show of theirs. I am always hopeful, whether it be a live performance - or a new album, that Mr. E. will at least match his best work [of the ever distant past]. Well… oh well. Not this time.


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

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