The Trouble with Mark Everett (E) is he is too talented for his own good and his latest offering is a classic album.
There are only a few bands that have a recognisable sound and style which is obvious to the listener upon listening to a few seconds of a song from their back catalogue.
But the Eels areÂ one of those bands who have crafted a unique sound over the years, which stands out immediately and it is this music which is the back drop to E's haunting, poetic and honest lyrics which can moisten the eye of a gargoyle.
The new album is more of the same in as much as the lyrics are cutting and the guitars are dry and jangly. But this is a very focused album, which will hit home to anyone who is or has been through a divorce that now finds time is no longer on their side as their youth passes away in slow motion.
'In my younger days' and 'Little Bird' are two stand out tracks on the album that don't so much torture the listener with the pain of splitting up but rather provide a space for the venting of such emotions and it is that unique ability of Mark Everett which makes his music and lyrics so lamentful.
But as a long time fan of his music I don't think that E has ever been so concise with his writing, this and his last year's 'Hombre Lobo' album both contrast in subject matter but both are very focused albums. 'Hombre Lobo' is an album about desire and where that desire can carry you with some great songs 'My Timing Is Off' being my personal favorite song on the album.
Both albums are highly recommended and both set very different moods. But if I had to choose, taken asÂ a whole,Â 'End Times' is the one. It is a beautiful grower of an album due to its greater level of depth etched out in the E's production that so many are trying to copy, but every time someone gets close to his sound E reinvents the wheel.
If you don't own anything by the Eels then you really are missing out on a huge back catalog of work that is 80% genius and 20% bloomin' fantastic.