A Wonderful, Glorious future
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 15:02
Having a lifelong relationship with a band isn’t always easy. One year, they can release an album and you’ll swear they wrote each lyric just for you. The next year, your heart might break because it seems some stranger wrote the music under the same band’s name.
Fortunately for Eels’ fans, the band’s 10th studio album Wonderful, Glorious causes no such heartbreak.
In 1996, Mark Oliver Everett, aka ‘E’, released Beautiful Freak, a gloomy pop album with haunting lyrics. E’s amazing voice and Wurlitzer electric piano together created singles that earned the band international attention and success. Songs such as, “Novocaine for the Soul,” “Beautiful Freak” and “Susan’s House,” brought many listeners into E’s and fellow collaborators’ complicated world.
Over the years, Eels has remained within a melancholic realm of personal memoirs. In 1998, Eels’ second studio album, Electro-Shock Blues,provided a deeper look into Everett’s personal life. The album deals with topics such as suicide, sickness and death.
But the most recent release from the band, Wonderful, Glorious, takes on a more positive perspective on life and reality. Its lyrics suggest the band’s transition into a much more upbeat and hopeful place. Lyrics from songs such as “On the Ropes” truly depict the band’s outlook on life that has seemingly taken on new shape.
“I’ve got enough I left inside this tired heart/To win this world and walk on my feet, know the trip” Everett sings.
The track embraces the realities of bad days and inevitable misfortune.
Wonderful, Gloriousis the first album the band recorded in their new, expanded studio. The band had previously been recording in Everett’s basement, which had caused the band many issues beforehand. With the new and improved studio for the band to work out of, it’s no surprise their music was affected so positively. Everett’s tantalizing growls synchronize beautifully with the Eels’ guitarist’s, The Chet, hard rock jams.
“New Alphabet” reinforces not only their fresh take on a familiar style but their new motto of “getting ’em next time, tiger.”
“When the world stops making sense/Just take in what you can get/When the people on the streets start looking like silhouettes/When the words just sound like noise/I need a new alphabet/When the world stops making sense/I make a new alphabet” Everett sings.
Although most of the tracks stay true to the band’s style, one song in particular stands out in a negative way. “Peach Blossom” sounds as if Everett scribbled down a few notes and tried to match them to the beat. The repetition of the lyrics overpowers the piano and guitar, and the goofiness of the song feels forced.
Listening to Eels’ music should not feel as if the band was self-conscious or making music they think the listener wanted to hear. They don’t need our approval to know they’re a fantastic band.
Wonderful, Gloriousoffers so much to those who have followed Eels over the years. Listeners should definitely check out the Deluxe Edition version of the album, which includes several live performances.