the deconstruction

Eels

 
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EWorks/PIAS • 2018

EWorks/PIAS • 2018

It’s been four years since Eels’ last release and their return opens with promise. Listeners are rewarded with a cornucopia of sounds, reminiscent of their earlier work: swimmy string loops, muddy walking bass (courtesy of Koool G Murder), crisp drums. It is refreshing, since the last few Eels albums were mostly quiet acoustic or piano numbers, though not the profound type found on their 2005 masterwork, Blinking Lights & Other Revelations. This variety of textures doesn’t last, however. While The Deconstruction has some up-tempo numbers, it mostly lives in that familiar sleepy place Mark Oliver Everett has been consistently writing from, one number (“Archie Goodnight”) literally being a lullaby for his son. What’s missing here--and has been missing from Eels’ music for over a decade--is a sense of purpose to the songwriting, beyond force of habit. Still, it’s good to have Mr. E back from his musical hiatus, and it’s nice that he remembers how to rock like he does on standout track “Bone Dry.”

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