eMusic Review 0
For about two decades now, Mark Oliver Everett has worn misanthropy and iconoclasm like badges of honor, which has helped make his music appealing. It takes a keen sardonic ear to conceive of a song called “Your Lucky Day in Hell” (from Eels’ 1996 debut Beautiful Freak) and cast it as a blissed-out indie rock ditty, honey-soaked strings and all. That Everett counts Tom Waits himself as a fan is testament: Everett has had his bouts with busted love, personal tragedy and lingering self-doubt, but even his breakthrough “Novocaine for the Soul” was less about killing pain than spring-boarding beyond it.
Wonderful, Glorious caps a prolific four-year burst of activity from Everett that yielded an autobiography, a documentary about his late father (quantum physicist and “many-worlds” theorist Hugh Everett III) and a trilogy of Eels concept albums. What sets this one apart is the overarching sense of optimism and the fact that Everett’s four-piece backing band — a road-hardened touring unit since 2009 — had an equal share in the making of it. It comes through in “Stick Together” and its rambling tom-tom shuffle (“It’s very clear we make a winning team,” Everett sings, with apparent sincerity), and even in… read more »