Because Songs Matter

EELS: END TIMES

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Nobody is ever going to mistake Mark Oliver “E” Everett for Jason Mraz, that’s for damn sure. Sure, Everett’s Eels may make the occasional foray into upbeat, jangly rock that sounds deceptively sunny but, make no mistake, Everett’s is a discontented soul, and he is more than willing to place that soul on display.

Never more was that the case than on End Times, a bleak collection of gorgeous apocalyptic ballads. So stark, in fact, is End Times, that one is left to wonder whether Everett does indeed believe the world will indeed end in a year’s time, and is perhaps preparing himself accordingly. As Everett mourns lost loves and likes over sparkling guitars, and muses on impending doom over a pulsing rhythm section, one thing becomes clear: if Mark Oliver Everett is going out, he’s going out with a bang and a whimper.

In the Eels cannon, End Times fits along side Blinking Lights and Other Meditations as perhaps Everett’s bleakest work to date, but the album is not without a degree of hope, even if it is just implied hope. For, one must assume, if one is continually finding and losing love and contentment, then it stands to reason that which was lost will be found again, and lost again, and rediscovered, and so on and so on, etc. It is that implied hope that finds its way into Everett’s voice, as he equates a broken heart with the fleeting presence of a sparrow on “Little Bird,” and as he plumbs the depths of his own seemingly incurable despair on “I Need A Mother.” Buried somehwere beneath Everett’s sadness lies the acknowledgment that the sun will, indeed, come out tomorrow. What remains unclear is whether Everett finds that inevitable sunrise to be a brief respite from the darkness or an insistent and tormenting reminder that sunset is on its way again.

Eels – “End Times” (from End Times)

Eels – “Little Bird” (from End Times)

Eels Official Site, Eels on myspace, Buy End Times

5 Comments

  1. Here is a two word review-

    “Lacks Balls”

  2. John Schnabel John Schnabel
    January 31, 2010    

    Hey, I think I was married to that woman. You have to be willing to get off of your ass and get down in the mud and wallow around with this cd, or you just won’t get it.

  3. Julie Light-Copper Julie Light-Copper
    January 31, 2010    

    He is very much like the singers in the early 70’s who would pull up a chair in the bars in good old C-bus and sing their ballads while the rest of us sat an drank draft beer.
    Nice sound and good tunes. Guess you have to be of “age” to enjoy!

  4. SHWA25 SHWA25
    February 1, 2010    

    “The Mansions of Los Feliz” and “Paradise Blues” are great songs. End Times really functions as the unwinding of E’s Hombre Lobo record from a few months ago. It’s worth getting on vinyl for the full effect.

  5. Greg Greg
    February 3, 2010    

    I think it’s Revelations not Meditations, his double album.

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