EELS – The Deconstruction
More staggering works of heartbreaking genius from E and his team. It's all in a day's work, you know...
Some artists are like sharks and need to keep moving to survive. You know the type: every record is different and accompanied by a change of sound, song and singing. There's nothing wrong with that... but it doesn't guarantee greatness. Neither does sitting still of course, but a formula is only a bad thing when it produces poor work. EELS hit on a formula a few records ago, many years ago in fact, and it's an aesthetic that leader Mark Oliver Everett – more commonly known simply as E – refines radically with each record, but you never hear the joins.
You know how The Destruction sounds already; there's fuzzy garage rockers, lilting acoustic laments and gorgeous strings, organs and found-sounds creating colours. Songs like Bone Dry, Premonition and Rusty Pipes could all be described as 'EELS-by-numbers', but that doesn't mean they're not good songs, crafted well, and recorded with a curiosity that could kill a thousand cats.
Speaking of death, there's not too much on EELS' 12th record. Tunes like the soaring and string-led The Epiphany sound sad, but there's a lightness of touch here that may not have been previously found before the recent arrival of E's first child. The pretty pop of Today is the Day and the dark and dirty rush of You Are the Shining Light have mainstream radio written all over them (if such a thing still exists), but EELS could care less.
Great moments in great songs ('I love you, there, I said it') still seem to be deep enough waters for EELS to swim.
Listen to: Rusty Pipes, Today is the Day, You Are the Shining Light