Album Review Meet The Eels: Essential Eels Vol. 1 1996 - 2006

‘Meet The Eels’ then; we’ve got a feeling you’re going to be great friends.

It is, it seems, ridiculously easy to forget just how great, and such is often linked to forgotten greatness, prolific some artists are. E, or Mark Oliver Everett as he has thankfully reverted to being called, is one of these such people. Like an advert for a ‘greatest hits’ by a band you didn’t know you knew, while you did in fact know that Eels were responsible for these tracks, it’s quite possible you didn’t realise just how brilliant they all were. Or how many there were of these brilliant songs.

An example: ‘Meet The Eels’ begins with the rather wondrous trio of ‘Novocaine For The Soul’, ‘Susan’s House’ and ‘My Beloved Monster’. The fourth track is ‘Your Lucky Day In Hell’. Still, it’s better to think things come in threes, right? Otherwise one might as well reel off a list of magical treats included on this compilation. ‘I Like Birds’? ‘Mr E’s Beautiful Blues’? ‘It’s A Motherfucker’? Yes, that’s another three-in-a-row. The fourth? ‘Souljacker Part I’. Point made?

The main oddity included on ‘Meet The Eels’, an almost perfect title perhaps, as ultimately it serves as a decent enough introduction to the ‘band’ if you’re one of those fools who’ve never procured a copy of ‘Beautiful Freak’, is the cover of Missy Elliott’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’. It’s weird. Whether it’s wonderful or not is yet to be decided; it’s nestled in amongst Everett’s own tracks. To suggest it stands out - coming as it does after two of ‘Souljacker’s more emotional numbers (‘That’s Not Really Funny’, ‘Fresh Feeling’) - is that great cliche of an understatement.

‘Meet The Eels’ then; we’ve got a feeling you’re going to be great friends.


Tags: Eels, Album Reviews, Reviews

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