Mark Oliver Everett, aka 'E', knows that his latest effort will be many people's least favorite EELS album, but he's totally cool with that.
Only months ago E was a man on the prowl, and 2009's Hombre Lobo was his ode to desire. He treated the pursuit of love/lust like a hungry wolf searching for fresh prey. A mere 7 months later, E has emerged from his post-divorce basement bunker, where he recorded his End Times on an antiquated 4-track tape machine. And end times are exactly what his newest album feels like.
While this isn't necessarily new territory for EELS --The 1993 E Broken Toy Shop album chronicled the broken heart of a young man in his 20's -- End Times considers the same set of circumstances from a perspective of much greater age, which make the effects all the more devastating. This go-round it is as if E's world is ending and death is eminent.
The apex of Everett's sorrows are best summed up by the closing lines of the title track, "The World is ending and what do I care? She's gone and end times are near".
But what End Times has in naked vulnerability, and brutal honesty it makes up for with less than impressive arrangements and underwhelming song structures. As a person who has seen firsthand just how tragic/painful divorce can be and how life-altering/meaning-of-life-questioning it can cause a person to react, I am completely aware of how people can so desperately need a creative outlet to regain their sanity and life's perspective. That being said, I'm hoping End Times was the EELS' necessary therapeutic creation and not a permanent alteration in musical direction.
MP3: EELS - Little Bird