The Eels

Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (Vagrant)

Phases & Stages

The Eels

Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (Vagrant)

Could mopey folkie Mark Oliver Everett (aka "E") of the Eels finally be content? For a man who spent the last decade winning fans by dealing "Novocaine for the Soul" and "Cancer for the Cure," his latest work sounds like relief for the masses. Over 33 tracks, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations is Everett's double-album masterpiece, a definitive catharsis. Other LPs have been snapshots of his depression, but these new pictures are vividly painted on. The first disc is a tribute to suicidal tendencies ("Checkout Blues") and getting dumped ("Last Time We Spoke"). Everett loosens his wicked sense of humor to creep through the darkness with his distraught dance craze homage "Going Fetal." The second disc kicks into gear with "Old Shit/New Shit" and the proclamation "I'm tired of the old shit, let the new shit begin." The tone shifts, becomes light and sunny with guests like John Sebastian and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck turning kiss-offs such as "To Lick Your Boots" into weightless summer jams. Has Everett gone soft? Seemingly, he's in love. As he suggests in "Losing Streak" after finding someone special, "It's looking like my losing streak is done." Could the Eels ever recover from so much happiness?

***.5

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