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After two overwhelmingly depressing records, Eels veered sharply away from death and suicide and cancer and funerals in subject matter- to this light-hearted, quirky and wholly listenable 2000 offering "Daisies of The Galaxy". Although Eels have always had a sense of humour amidst the darkness, it now feels they're a band more comfortable in their own skin, and the songs don't have any of the delirious, anxious urgency of Electro-Shock Blues or Beautiful Freak, rather being slightly more casual listening.
The record doesn't sicken you with cheerfulness though, having touchingly sad and reflective acousticky tracks like "Wooden Nickels", with the haunting refrain:
"And you may not think much of me now, but I think so damn much of you"
as Everett muses on a relationship gone sadly wrong. However, the break-up musing songs present on this album feel very human, and warm, and although they'd work well to be depressed to, they certainly don't sap you of all your emotional energy and make you want to roll up into a ball under the covers for a week. More, there is a vibrance, some sort of positivity going on there, as nicely summed up with the restrained, resigned bitterness of "It's A Motherfucker": "It's a motherfucker/ being here without you/ thinking 'bout the good times/ thinking 'bout the bad".
The album peaks in it's nonsensical glory with the charmingly straightforward "I Like Birds", that leaves you in little doubt that Everett really DOES like birds. "If you're small, and on a search/ I've got a feeder for you to perch on" is surely an anthem for any exuberant bird-feeder.
The bonus track, unusually released as a single (Mark Everett said "Think of yourself as buying a single, with a bonus album") "Mr E's Beautiful Blues" is definitely a highlight, and the catchy "Goddamn right, it's a beautiful day!" chorus will have you tapping your foot in seconds, as the sunshine of the album comes to a climax.
The musical influences, similarly to previous Eels albums, are diverse, and it's definitely not a straight guitar-indie record: with some more folky songs making up the track list, a couple of heavier more rock songs, and smatterings of jazz, blues, and even a horn section, all held together with Mark Everett's distinctive and utterly compelling vocals.
Overall, the album leaves even the most cynical fan feeling quite heartwarmed, and there's a "niceness" to the music, while still managing to being challenging, and multi-layered. It's equally good to have on in the background while you chat with friends, as to listen to intensely on big powerful headphones in the dark. It's also quite good to nap too, featuring nothing unexpected and jarring in the second half. Other than anything else, I'd recommend it as a fantastic introduction to the band, for just about anyone.
All I have to say is that you have to judge if you like this album or not. If you were hoping this would be electro-shock blues's dark, distant cousin, you are mistaken. Singer/songwriter/instrumentalist/etc. 'E' called ESB the funeral, this album is the wake, as already mentioned. Basically, I love this whole album album. Heavily arguable, I'm sure, but I feel there's not a weak track on it. The way the tracks seem just put together straight from E's head and are devoid of excesive studio work draws me in heavily. I'll rate each track from 1-10 - these are just MY opinions. Grace Kelly Blues - 8 Packing Blankets - 7 The Sound Of Fear - 7 I Like Birds - 8 Daisies Of the Galaxy - 9.5 Flyswatter - 9.5 It's a Motherfucker - 9 Estate Sale - 6 Tiger In My Tank - 8 A Daisy Through Concrete - 8.5 Jeannie's Diary - 8.5 Wooden Nickels - 9 Something Is Sacred - 8 Selective Memory - 9 Mr. E's Beautiful Blues - 9 I doubt everyone will agree with me - but hey this is my review so i hope it helps you out. So go download Kazaa and get some tracks from the record. See if you like it. Hopefully you will.
Eels - Daises of the Galaxy Its a high after the comedown, but lets face it the Eels 3rd album had to be a happy one. Following the Eels second album, which was based around the death of his mother from cancer, it comes as something of a relief to see E's on uppers. The first song "Grace Kelly Blues" based around a horn section, a lovely heart warming salvation army brass band sound rather than the Britpop in yer face variety. Its laid back, relaxed, skipping beat. Lassie, the Littlest Hobbo running along a highway. From Lassie to Scooby Doo / Adams Family the TV connections don't stop there with the haunted house styled sound effects of "Fly Swatter". "Packing Blankets" is the first sign of a new E, almost his personal message for life, his mantras "Today is a lovely day", "All our troubles will be gone, blown out over that bridge". "Its A Motherfucker" is almost the flip side of his newer happier personality, a touching piano ballad that deals with the loss of his mother and how sometimes you can't forget someone that important. "The Sound or Fear" is one of the few upbeat songs on the album. Managing to cross Nirvana with the strange quirky keyboard playing of northern comedian John Shuttleworth. Strange but 100% honest. And Elvis lives on in the spirit of "Mr E's Beautiful Blues", although not an official track its easily the best track Eels have ever done: 50's guitar retroisms, huh huh's, brass, keyboards, samples, everything including the kitchen sink. "Jeannie's Diary" sums up this album succinctly with the line "I don't have a chance in writing the book, I just want to be a page". While Eels are a band that clearly know how to write a tune and take its listeners on an emotional roller coaster, all they ever will be is a page. Its textured, warm, homely - but like a night in its e
njoyable once in a while, but its not something you'd do every night. Alex McCann
"A pessimist is never disappointed" said indie losers theaudience a few years ago and while their music may have been anonymous, the sentiment is especially true for Mark "E" Everett A.K.A "The Unluckiest Man In Pop". He isn’t unlucky in the sense that he’s missed out on the No. 1 spot or anything, but he has been the victim of countless family tragedies that taint the music of Eels. But one man’s misfortune is another man’s gain and that leads us to the wonderful "Daisies Of The Galaxy". DOTG arrived early in 2000 and is the third LP offering from Eels. E’s misfortune peaked during the writing of the second Eels album "Electro-Shock Blues", therefore this album sounds as happy as a Lolly album in comparison, but those who crave sad songs won’t be disappointed. This album can be as blunt and harsh lyrically, as it can be soft and wistful musically. Evidence of the more optimistic E is hard to see in songs like "It’s A Motherfucker" when he starkly surmises that “It’s a motherfucker / Getting through a Sunday / Talking to the walls / Just me again”. I might add that such are the woos of Mark ‘E’ Everett, that he was only faced with the death of his mother during the recording of this album. But E still seems to find optimism in his words and the listener feels the beauty of this. On the penultimate track "Something Is Sacred" he declares “As the world will blow to bits / I will cradle you and hold you tight’. The lyrics are exceptional on this album and even stronger than E’s previous lyrical peaks such as "Susan’s House" and "The Medication’s Wearing Off". But the brilliance of the lyrics shouldn’t take away from the music. Lyrics mean nothing over a useless soundtrack, but the lo-fi sound compliments the lyrics superbly. The musici
anship is nothing special and E is not a strong vocalist, but that doesn’t really matter. Like his contemporary Elliott Smith he can get away with a lacklustre voice purely through his delivery. The addition of strings in some of the songs adds weight to the songs and thankfully they are not over ambitious in a Manic Street Preachers style. This certainly heralds a shift into more professionalism for the band. The pace is often "funeral" slow (typically) and there is less of the poppy sound that put Eels into the charts. However it does resurface on the wonderful "Tiger In My Tank". But such is E’s protection of the over-riding sound, the single "Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues" isn’t even listed and appears only as a bonus track. It’s a wonderful Elvis impersonation, though. If you know the previous work of Eels you will love this album, if you have an inclination towards sad, but not melodramatic songs you will love it too. My only criticism is of a couple of the earlier tracks. "The Sound Of Fear" and "I Like Birds" just can’t cut it with the rest of the album. And unlike other albums, it is structured so that the highlight is the final track (bar the bonus track). "Selective Memory" is on a par with a sunset or lover in terms of beauty. It is a classic in my opinion, but then again, the entire album is too.
'Daisies' is the highly-successful follow-up album from the Eels to their previous much more melancholic release of 'Electro-Shock Blues.' That album, though being fantastic, was about as down as it's possible to get and 'Daisies of the Galaxy' show's frontman E's return to a slightly happier state. This has manifested itself in some of the songs as E accepts life goes on and his change of heart as provided the basis for some exceptional music. Always lyrically obscure and intriguing, the album opens with the 'Grace Kelly Blues,' a kind of upbeat lament describing how people of all types suffer their problems. This is shown in the title as well-Grace Kelly singing the blues, yeah right, but E describes them as: 'The actress gave up all her old dreams.' However the track closes with E's personal view of how he's got over his traumatic past (his sister committed suicide) and is getting on with it all: 'But me I'm doing pretty good as of now, I'm not so sure when I got here or how.' This does remain the theme for much of the album. The next two tracks of 'Packing Blankets' and 'The Sound of Fear' both deal with a similar subject - how you have to know when it's time to let go of past times and move on. 'Packing Blankets' illustrates this with the image of beginning life on the road and just getting away from it all. Being backed with a catchy melody and clear vocals this is one of my highlights of the album. 'The Sound of Fear' demonstrates the same meaning by using a description of 'sun coming up the old neighbourhood' at the opening and then closing with 'Sun goes down on the old neighbourhood. Dark, damp the stop where I once stood.' E is saying goodbye to his old metaphorical nighbourhood, getting out of his life's rut and moving again. The fourth track is my
joint favourite on the album and curiously is titled 'I Like Birds.' This song truly makes you think about a person's individuality by using the strange idea of....appreciating birds. Clearly a very difficult idea to get across maybe this says it better: 'Look at all the people like cows in a herd, Well I like birds.' Three more downbeat songs the follow - 'Daisies of the Galaxy,' 'It's a Motherf****r,' and the instrumental 'Estate Sale.' These all relate to E being sorrowful at accepting it's time to let go and are highly pesonal songs. This kind of emotion is shwon in 'It's a Motherf****r' with the words 'Just me again, but I won't ever be the same' and in the otherwise instrumental 'Estate Sale' with the olny voals being the spoken 'These are the sounds of days that are past....' Though slightly more depressive, good music and evocative lyrics make these songs no less enjoyable than the rest of the album. The remainder of the album is very ambivalent with E being torn between the two emotions of wallowing in the past or getting up and moving. His anger at the world is clear in 'Tiger in my Tank' as he writes 'When I grow up I'll be, an angry little wh*re. I'll give you all the finger, and sell you all what for.' But immediately after blaming the world for all troubles 'A Daisy Through Concrete' acknowledges that an individual must be prepared to act for himself - 'Change what you're saying, don't change what you said. Now that it's time that I got out of bed.' The final four songs - 'Jeannie's Diary,' 'Wooden Nickels,' 'Something is Sacred' and 'Selective Memory' all do show their writer's mental torment as previously but they show that E realises there is good in the world too. This seems to have manifested it in the form of
love with the mournful ballad of 'Jeannie's Diary' containing such lyrics as 'She could have anything she wants, so why not me?' The theme is reinforced by 'Something is Sacred' as it closes with the line 'As the world will blow to bits, I'll cradle you and hold you tight.' But just when you thought the album was through, done, and you're still trembling with the emotion at the conflicting emotion in 'Selective Memory' up pops the bonus track and arguably the best on the album of 'Mr. E's Beautiful Blue's.' This is the reason I bought the album to begin with (little did I know what a goldmine I'd found) and it was the single released. It has a very catchy tune and is a lot more upbeat than it's previous tracks. It shows E's acceptance of the world - simple as that. Admittedly he does use such pessimistic language as 'The load on the road brings a tear to the Indian's eye' but all is cancelled out by the chorus of 'Goddam right it's a beautiful day.' You will find yourself singing along to that too. You might find it surprising with it being clipped onto the end like that but it's sort of E's signing off piece negating and depression on the album and afirming he's ok with the world if it's ok with him. Overall, this is a work of genius (and I don't use those terms lightly.) With superbly intelligent lyrics E has held back no emotion and with the Eels being such good musicians too they've put good music together. As far as I can see, not one weak song.
Prior to this, the third Eels album, life was all very dark with the Eels. Electro Shock Blues, the previous Eels album, was a bit to depressing for my tastes. Their debut was somewhat more upbeat but the overall mood was still down. Thankfully on their third album things have cheered up somewhat. To quote Mark Everett (AKA Mr E), singer/guitarist with the band ‘Two songs on this album have the word Daisies in the title, neither have the words “Pushing up” in front.’ The overall style of the Eels has remained fairly consistent however, if somewhat hard to put into words – I’ll give it my best though. Take perfect pop (St Etienne type stuff), add a dash of alternative and then do the whole shebang in a lo-fi style. Sparse production, dry vocals, vibes, drums and a guitar are all regularly used Eels ingredients. Anyway, back to the album. Standout tracks are Grace Kelly Blues, a gentle brass and acoustic guitar strum-a-long which sets the tone for most of the album. Flyswatter is another great track, vibraphone and broody bass make for a song that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tim Burton film. A Daisy through Concrete is an almost light-hearted song that appears to be about getting over death, something Mr E has had a lot of to deal with. Finally there is the stomping (And inexplicably not mentioned on the case) track, Mr E’s Beautiful Blues, the first single to be taken from the album. It’s a definite return to form for the band, and I’d even go as far as saying their best work yet. PS - As for the question "Would I purchase the same product again", of course not - I already own it!
Every time Eels sit down and record an album,they take a new direction. Their hugely successful first LP, Beautiful Freak, spawned a very eager fan base that almost demanded a rerun the second time around. Instead, they recorded and album so dark and inward looking that much of the Radio 1 audience dissapeared and the band became less commercially viable. That they would then record a third album so beautiful in its construction and so genuine in its feel is typical.Those who bailed out after Electro Shock Blues have really missed a gem. Daisies Of The Galaxy should be considered an antidote to the dark moody theme of the previous album. It contains 14 of the most sickly sweet beautiful songs you will ever hear on a single record. Each is excellent in its own right, and wehen placed together, they combine to creat somethign that can only be described as a work of genius. The very fact that the record company had to commision an extra track to include just to justify a single release says more abot this album than words could. This is not an album of singles, it is an album of songs. The fact that eels now recognise they are no longer a multi-platinum selling artist has allowed them to develop their art and fine tune it, freed from the constraints placed on them by the insatiable demand for three-minute masterpieces. This is a common them among bands that used to be considered 'famous' - it freed up Carter USM to produce their greatest work, it has since happened to artists as diverse as Lou Reed and Teenage Fanclub. Commerciality stifles music - just look at the whole host of produced boy-bands that perpetuate. 'Flyswatter' deviates towards the darness seen on the previous albums, but comes up smelling of roses, and the instrumental 'Estate Sale' -written abotut he selling off of old antiquiteis owned by the lead singer E's mother - is wonderfully dark and introspective whilst being a
great piece of music. The gems of the album have to be 'Tiger In My Tank', 'Wooden Nickles' which is a true masterpiece and the closing titel 'Selective Memory'. But theother eleven (twelve on the UK release) tracks all hold up well. Eels have taken music back to its simplest form and jsut wrtten a host of catchy melodies and great songs. Yes, the mood is not the same as that the band had in their opening days - there are no riff based masterpieces here, barely a distorted guitar is heard - but the whole production just oozes class. If you're looking for a new artist, and if you like good, solid, honest pop music, Eels are a safe bet. You will not be dissapointed.
While Electro-shock Blues was described as the ‘funeral’ Mark Everett (E) describes the third album as the ‘wake’. The Eels have always been known to make some slightly bizarre and quirky songs and this album is no exception. However while Electro-shock Blues was a dark album, full of the subject of death and self loathing, Daisies of the Galaxy is a far more high spirited album, although a lot more well rounded than Beautiful Freak. At the time of writing this album E had already wrote enough material to make an additional three. He commented that the songs he wrote were a mixture of both dark and light hearted style. Daisies of the Galaxy seems to follow the path of light hearted but traces of the style from Electro-shock Blues are still evident in some songs of the album. 1. Grace Kelly Blues (3.38) ‘The actress gave up all her old dreams and traded up now she is a queen’ While one of the closing statements of Electro-shock Blues was ‘maybe it’s time to live’, the album kicks off to the sound of a heavy brass brand funeral procession. However it is not so much as bleak but promising. Beneath the initial heavy sounds that move slow and suffocatingly there is a far more light playing of guitar and gentle pats of drums. The lyrics tell a tale of a sort of self recollected story with some dry, witty comments, ‘the kid in the mall puts that hawt dawg on a stick’ and ‘taking your order he will look away’. However despite things going on around him E is okay, like he says ‘I’m doing pretty good as of now’. 2. Packing Blankets (2.07) ‘Don’t look back to that messed-up scene’ A simply played song, with the gentle strumming of the guitar, reminiscent of the light sounds of Grace Kelly Blues. The lyrics are optimistic ‘all our troubles will be gone’ which suit the style of
the song. This song does seem to have a cartoony feel to it because the lyrics spring pictures into your head and the beat is so gentle and happy that you can imagine cartoon characters hopping around as E sings. Unless that’s just me going mad again. 3. The Sound of Fear (3.33) ‘I don’t care where I’m gonna be’ This song has a lot more edge to it than the previous two. It has a bit of a 60s sound to it, with its rock drumming and organ sounds. However the lyrics are a bit of a let down, repetition does feature heavily in this song and the last 30 seconds seem too much. This is probably one of the most Beautiful Freak sounding songs of the album. 4. I Like Birds (2.35) ‘If you’re small and on a search I’ve got a feeder for you to perch on’ A truly mad song, lyrically anyway. This is a tribute to Mark’s mother who used to feed our feathered friends frequently before she died of cancer. A short song but one that lasts as long as it needs to. While E’s voice sounds trademark scratchy at the start of the song he breaks into jolly verse during the chorus, lifting the spirit and general feel of the song. The music that accompanies it is suitably bouncy and gives way to be in the background while E sings through the song. 5. Daisies of the Galaxy (3.27) ‘Watching the movie the worlds gonna end’ The first ‘slow’ song from the album but doesn’t fall into the truly dark verse and sound of Electro-shock Blues territory. Starting off with a slow guitar solo which carries on pretty much throughout the song E’s voice quietly sings over it in a calm and relaxed way. The song picks up sound as some strings are introduced with the guitar and E gently notches up his volume but never once does it become over bearing or forced. This is a perfectly relaxed, albeit sad song, about two people look
ing for friendship in a town, a real stand out song from the album. 6. Flyswatter (3.20) ‘Field mice, head lice spiders in the kitchen’ The second single from the album sees the Eels bring in their trademark quirkiness to their songs. A nice opening played on a children’s xylophone gives it a somewhat basic and innocent start up but it is not long before the heavier sounds come into it. It soon has an edge to it, much like Sound of Fear that came before it, yet unlike the previous song, E also sings with an edge giving this song a lot of character. It has some excellent lyrics, ‘heat is rolling in like Hells red rug, stinking like the breath of Beezlebub’ which compliments the music well. It also seems a perfect summer song in a somewhat unconventional way anyway. 7. It’s a Motherf**ker (2.14) ‘And you won’t ever be the same’ I’m sure you know what that means even with the censor friendly asterisks being put in. Despite the ‘harshness’ of the word it is in direct paradox to the actual style of the song, being more akin to Daisies of the Galaxy than any of the rockier sounding songs on the album. This song is starker than Daisies, telling us about the pain of missing someone. E practically talks through the song, accompanied by strings and a piano setting a sombre mood onto the song. 8. Estate Sale (1.36) ‘These are the sounds of the days that are past’ No real lyrics, apart from that line and a few quiet words uttered in the song. This is a softly moving song that, even without words, still has a nice feeling attached to it. 9. Tiger In My Tank (3.07) ‘I had a dream last night, the TV and the phone grew some legs and took a walk and left me alone’ Casting off the shackles of sombre sounds that have led up till now Tiger In My Tank bursts into life with a lou
d beat and, again, a kind of 60s feel to it. Once more some good lyrics accompany this song, ‘When I grow up I’ll be an angry little whore’ and some good use of sound, with drums, and trumpets being used. Like most songs on the album the lyrics finish quire early on to leave 30 seconds or so for the music to finish. 10. A Daisy Through Concrete (2.26) ‘Wake up the dying, don’t wake up the dead’ Another uplifting song which doesn’t attempt to make any sense apart from giving you the feeling that the world isn’t meant to be that mad at all. The music is nice and fast with a lot of sounds escaping from it, E sounds energised whilst singing this, with slight optimism in his voice, and you don’t here that much. 11. Jeannie’s Diary (3.37) ‘She’s got a dark side too, even murderous’ One of E’s favourite tracks and, if Dreamworks had let them, the one they wanted to release as the third single. This is another excellent song, nice and downbeat, giving a break from the adrenaline fuelled songs before hand, despite being a beak from the quirky this song is not that sad. E’s voice compliments the song well, not getting too low to sound depressing, but more of thinking how it may have been if he was in ‘one single page’ of her diary. This strikes you as a lost love song and one of the best songs of the album. 12. Wooden Nickles (2.55) ‘When the party’s over your on your own’ Another simple sounding song on the album and nice and laid back, with a simple guitar sounds moving through the song. It doesn’t really stand out in any special way but that is not to say it’s not that good, it’s a well-placed filler type song, which blends in nicely to the rest of the album. It sort of carries on from the love theme that Jeannies Diary started ‘you may not thi
nk much of me but I think so damn much of you’, except this is a tad more upbeat. 13. Something Is Sacred (2.52) ‘People look funny when they cry because they just can’t let it hide’ Probably the darkest song from the album, from the start it sounds bleak and it does carry on throughout nearly all of the song, with E reaching his high notes in typical laid back effort. The lyrics are once again the strong point of this song as it has the feeling of true recollection of what E has experienced throughout his life. However out of the bleakness comes the last verse, ending on ‘I’ll cradle you and hold you tight’, which ends it on a somewhat happier note. 14. Selective Memory (2.44) ‘Wish I could remember but my selective memory wont let me’ The simplest sounding song from the album. E’s voice starts of high and then goes lower for the chorus. It is only a piano that accompanies his voice throughout most of the song. Although not the strongest of songs both lyrically and musically it still nonetheless stands out in terms of simplistic style. 15. Mr. Es Beautiful Blues (3.58) ‘The clown with the frown driving down to the sidewalk fair, finger on the trigger let me tell you gave us quite a scare’ Oddly enough this isn’t advertised on the cover of the album and it is a ‘hidden track’. This is, of course, the hit single from the album. The mood is defiantly upbeat with a lot of bass and drums creeping it. Although upbeat underneath the surface there is a slightly dark edge in terms of what is happening with the lyrics, so it’s a nice juxtaposition of when E is sounding his happiest there is all this crazy stuff going on the world around him. However despite the darkness you cant fault this song, a perfect pick-you up and by the end of it E may be true in saying that ‘Godamn right, it
217;s a beautiful day’ That’s Daisies of the Galaxy for you then. After listening to it so many times its still hard to describe it in terms of words because whilst sounding simple it is unlike anything you have heard from the Eels. The mood is, as said before, far happier than the previous album. Look no further than the two songs have daisies in them and the words ‘pushing up’ don’t come anywhere near them. It also still seems a personal account of E’s life but this time he has moved on from the mourning stage, and whilst there is still slight pain in some of the songs there is definite hope in this album, carrying on from where Electro-shock Blues left off. The cover is also testimony that times have moved on. There is no dark blue and black colours that were featured in Electro-shock but this time a 1950’s style children’s drawing type artwork features heavily on the cover and inlay. This time there are all sorts of bright colours and happy faces on the artwork, how nice. There are, however, a few slight bad points to the album that stop it from beating Electro-shock Blues in terms of quality. Some of the songs do sound a bit too samey and maybe a bit more variety in terms of style would have been nice. Also some songs are woefully short sounding, despite them being catchy, it would have been nice to have an extra verse in some of them especially since in most songs the music carries on for a further 30 seconds after the words have stopped. None of the songs are too noticeably bad, although some seem to have more effort put into them as some but we do have 15 good songs with some that stand out as being excellently made. Although this is not as good as Electro-shock Blues in its defence it’s a totally different sounding album. Maybe the tracks should sound the same and maybe they should be short, after all this is supposed to be a fun album and it is
just that. The album wasn’t that commercially successful, in the US or UK. The first single Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues entered at a healthy 14 but Flyswatter only came in at 43. Dreamworks were also supposedly considering dropping them but that has, thankfully, not happened. It is worth pointing out that another album, with live recordings was also released when this was out called ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’ but I think its for the US only. However we don’t have long to wait for the Eels new work as ‘Souljacker’ is out very soon indeed. DAISIES OF THE GALAXY IS Quirky Happy A different Eels sound once more DAISIES OF THE GALAXY IS NOT That dark Depressing Perfect
Now here's a band that can really make you feel good and bad at the same time. With its depressing, but sometimes uplifting lyrics and dark, moody tunes, Eels have created an absolute gem of an album. I'm sure most of you will have heard their smash hit from this album, Novacaine for the Soul. It is undoubtedly the best song on the album, and possibly one of the best songs of the '90s. Other highlights include their second smash hit Susan's House, with its funky beat and catchy piano chorus. We get some beautiful, more placid songs such as Flower, Spunky and My Beloved Monster. The title track is a haunting, yet beautiful, ballad that can move a person to tears. Every song on this album is good. Not a single bad one comes to mind. I think the Eels are gonna be around for a long, long, time.
It's a strange mix of styles: folksy, bar room blues, jazzy rhythms, even music that sounds like a theme tune from children's TV. But overall, it's so distinctive, that the Eels only really sound like the Eels, to me. "The sound of fear" reminds me of Nirvana or the Pixies, but I can't really say why; "Grace Kelly blues" has a Tom Waits style brass section, and there's a kind of They Might Be Giants feel to the whole thing, but I think that's just because it's so varied. And it's very American - if you know what I mean. There are some excellent songs on here, with "Flyswatter" and "I like birds" among my own favourites. Some of the songs towards the end of the album don't grab your attention so much, are a little on the morose, maybe dull, side. But there's nothing I avoid listening to. E's lyrics are obtuse at times, but that makes them all the more memorable. The best song on the CD is "Mr. E's beautiful blues" with its mesmerizing tune, those sweet backing vocals, and it's internal rhymes ("the ringmaster's telecaster" and "the clown with a frown driving down?"). I'll never understand why they saw fit to include it as an unlisted track, tacked onto the end. I think this song as good as anything they've done, if not their best. Overall, though, the previous 2 albums are slightly better.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Grace Kelly Blues
2 Packing Blankets
3 The Sound Of Fear
4 I Like Birds
5 Daisies Of The Galaxy
7 It's A Motherfucker
8 Estate Sale
9 Tiger In My Tank
10 A Daisy Through Concrete
11 Jeannie's Diary
12 Wooden Nickles
13 Something Is Sacred
14 Selective Memory
15 Mr. E's Beautiful Blues