Eels have always presented a conundrum for me – for every heartbreaking song that touches my soul they’ve had a bland middle of the road mid-tempo rocker that did nothing for me. 1998’s Electro-Shock Blues was the rare album that hit me fully on just about every song. Nuanced, emotional, depressing – it hit everything that I love. Other albums have come close, while others have been forgettable. It’s been 4 years since Mark Oliver Everett’s Eels have released an album. That album – 2014’s The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett represented a solid record with a few mix tape worthy songs of note. 2018’s The Deconstruction betters this in just about every way. In fact, it might be my favorite Eels album in almost 20 years.
Part 36 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays
In the late Autumn of 2008 I received notice that my Grandfather (mom’s side) was deathly ill and in the hospital. I quickly made plans to grab a direct flight to Philadelphia from Seattle to spend a weekend with my Grandfather. It is a curious feeling to move 3000 miles away from where you grew up and start a new life. In the Pacific Northwest, my friends and family know who I am and what I stand for. We may not always agree, but we always have fun debating things over coffee. People who know me from my formative years in Pennsylvania can have differing opinions. An adult steps off of the plane, but is instantly viewed as a child. Questions about life choices (Why did you leave your parent’s faith?) and other preconceived notions could be read on the faces of family and old friends. All I wanted to do was spend time with my Grandfather. Music can be a godsend, and the soundtrack that helped me cope with these things on that weekend was electro-shock blues by eels.