Eels: Wonderful, Glorious

4 Jun


Having completed his 2006-2010 album trilogy, Eels core member Mark Oliver Everett seems intent for Wonderful, Glorious to lose the precise, thematic bent of his previous work, instead settling instead on a less focused, poetic approach. Still, the Eels trademarks of solid, bluesy tunefulness and contemplative, material lyricism persist —though not always together on the same songs.

Indeed, many of the album’s stronger tracks forego much lyrical complexity, contrasting strongly with their slower, more poetic neighbours in tempo, simplicity and, unfortunately, tunefulness. While I usually appreciate E’s poetic imagery and emotional resonance, I found myself mostly ignoring such tracks as the slower, lyrically evocative but somewhat musically staid “Accident Prone” in favour of the driving, melodic simplicity of “Peach Blossom” and “Bombs Away” —both of which feature driving melodies and simple choruses that get repeated like energising, meditative mantras.

As it stands, Wonderful, Glorious won’t do anything to change your mind about Eels one way or the other. It’s not an altogether essential album, but there’s enough new stuff here of both the driving melodic and the moody, contemplative strains to keep you happy if you’ve ever liked his stuff before.

By Camilo Diz Pino


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