Eels’ frontman Mark “E” Everett has never been the type to embrace the warmer things in the world – even commercial vehicle ‘Novacaine For the Soul’ smacked of a certain melancholic desperation. Over the course of his band’s 15-year career, he’s actively seeked out life’s darker moments, if anything, and this shows no signs of abating on eighth studio album ‘End Times’. Mainly acoustic and devoid of any noticeable production, the album is smothered by enormous sadness. The tracks are graceful in their composition and the lyrics avoid outright self-pity, but the whole thing is laden with such world weariness that it is hard to listen to. It feels like the creation of a man who has fallen out of love with the world. It’s poetic, at times gut-wrenching, but mostly very, very depressing. For hardened Eels fans only.

By Tom Goodwyn

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