by / January 21st, 2010 /

Eels – End Times

 1/5 Rating

(Vagrant)

Recently divorced and having taken a substantial break from the studio, Mr. E and his talented backing band’s latest offering End Times is a glance into the soul of a singer going through emotional turmoil. Eels could never be accused of being overly chirpy, but in End Times they dive headlong into heartfelt agony, exploring the loathing and self-doubt that comes with the end of a relationship, whilst still – somehow – managing to lay a soulful, bluesy piano sound over it all.

It’s been four years since Mr. E and Co last graced us with an album, and all the emotion of the between times has been rammed into tracks like delicate opener -The Beginning’, a sentimental return to when the singer’s love life was all simple and happy. -The Beginning’ is a depressing and fragile dive into a world of loved-up depression, and a taste of things to come, but it’s the personal touches that have End Times imagery sticking in the mind. In -A Line In The Dirt’, Mr. E opens with -she’s locked herself in the bathroom again, so I’m pissing in the yard’, while in the spoken word -Apple Trees’ he laments -I was looking at these rows and rows of trees all along the highway. I picked one tree a few rows back, just one in a billion. And that’s how I felt’.

Melancholy and slow-paced, with all the sentimentality of a Disney movie (if Mr. E’s ex-wife was to listen to this she’d probably think seriously about coming back), End Times doesn’t deny the reality of a relationship, and is all the better for it. By the time you’ve come through the album’s pointed stages of grief – anger, denial, depression and acceptance are all here in one way or another – you feel cleansed. Inundated with household sound effects, spoken word and gentile, snails-pace tracks, rarely has a break up album been so easy to relate to.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • wer99

    I guess “Hombre Lobo” released last year doesnt count then??

  • Er… yeah…sorry :S. I actually own that album, wrote this review at the end of a 72 hour fruit-only detox and my mind wasnt quite all there, must have been thinking of someone else and just not picked up on it. This album is much better than Hombre Lobo though 🙂

  • John Feeney

    I personally think ‘Hombre Lobo’ was a bit of a stronger album. Anyway, this album is just gorgeous to listen to. Have been listening to it a lot