Eels – End Times

January 01, 1970



Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett, aka “E”, is famously
revered for the sadsack nature of his lyrical content, which is understandable
given the extent of tragic events that have been well-documented in his music. But
on End Times, the modern rock great
outdoes even himself on this ultraquick follow-up to last year’s rather
uneventful Hombre Lobo LP. For the
Eels’ seventh title, E sings the Armageddon blues with enough conviction to
make modern day soothsayer Gerald Celente’s grim outlook on the future seem like
the heyday of the roaring 20’s. Only here, the future by which E speaks of is
his own, utilizing the end of days we are experiencing as a collective of
humans in the context of the apocalypse of his own romantic relationship.


And whereas the morose nature of the lyrics is usually
contrasted by the upbeat pop nature of the music, the Eels keep things on a
down note sonically as well. End Times offers stark landscapes of minor guitar and piano chord progressions, lonely
organ rolls and auxiliary atmospherics in lieu of the full electric roar of
2001’s Souljacker or the whimsical
charm of 2000’s Daisies of the Galaxy,
as songs like “In My Younger Days” and “I Need a Mother” signify. Even the
album’s more kinetic moments, like the skeletal rockabilly cut “Gone Man”, fly
at half-mast. Like a downer version of Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love, an album End
closely relates to in terms of its themes regarding breakups and
post-separation anxiety, this is by far the Eels’ darkest work since 1998’s Electro-Shock Blues…and their best album
to date.


“Gone Man”, “In My Younger Days”, “I Need A Mother”, “Paradise Blues” RON HART



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