Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Thoughtful and pleasing pop from Eels

You probably remember Eels’ #1 hit (in the U.S.) Novocaine for the Soul.  Or you will when you hear it. Plinking child’s piano, laid back percussion, strings, distorted guitar, and the band floating around an alley in black and white. It was a very cool video for a great song. MTV loved it and so did I. I remembered this track a few years back and went and found it. Then I started going through the rest of Eels catalog. I have to tell you. I am perplexed that these guys never had much more commercial success in the U.S. (though they have done quite well in the U.K.). I’m not even sure Novacaine is their best song.

I say “these guys,” though perhaps “this guy” would be more appropriate. Eels is a creation of Mark Oliver Everett, who goes by simply E. He is the only constant member of the band; the other members change all the time and have included guys with names like Koool G Murder, Knuckles, The Chet, and Puddin’. What a riot.

Gaaaaaaah!

Gaaaaaaah!

Apparently, Eels was chosen as the band’s name so it would be close to E’s solo work. They have a bunch of albums and every one of them has at least one absolute gem on it. I’m not going to list all the good ones for you, but check these top shelf songs out. You may want to go back and fill in the blanks.

  • Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – “God damn right, it’s a beautiful day.” This one got picked for the Road Trip movie soundtrack. I can see why. It’s a great pop hook that can’t fail to raise your spirits.
  • Efils God – From Electro-Shock Blues. This is sophisticated songcraft. I like the way the guitar interacts with the strings. It’s a pretty melody too, sung in falsetto.
  • Woman Driving, Man Sleeping – From Souljacker. I could only find this track on Last.fm. I hope you are able to listen to it. This is as melancholy a song as I’ve ever heard from them. It does feel like being on the highway late at night.
  • Fresh Feeling – From Souljacker. How was this not a radio hit? It has a great percussion groove, a friendly melody, and cool lyrics. It’s well produced with pleasing string arrangements. I love this song. I believe this was picked up for use in Scrubs. Zach Braff is the new John Cusack.
  • Last Stop This Town – From Electro-Shock Blues. This one reminds me a lot of Novacaine for the Soul. It has a similar structure and a similar feel, though it also draws some comparison’s to Beck. Hospital Food is another great song off this album.
  • A Daisy Through Concrete – From Daisies of the Galaxy. I’m not sure I understand why we get video of Barbra Streisand with this song… Anyway, this is one of my favorites by Eels. One of the great things about them is so many of their songs are joyful. I Like Birds is also a fun song from this album. Not his deepest song, but it’s pretty good and has a cool video.

http://www.eelstheband.com/

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June 9, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Popular, Rock

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