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DanPotato (UK)

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Wonderful, Glorious
Wonderful, Glorious
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 13.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars E's 'Classic Rock' Album, 5 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wonderful, Glorious (Audio CD)
Eels history seems to be repeating itself. The trilogy of albums that precedes 'Wonderful, Glorious' followed an emotional cycle from extroverted rock and ballads (Hombre Lobo) to maudlin introspection (End Times) through to optimistic recovery (Tomorrow Morning) that seemed to mimic Eels' earliest albums (Beautiful Freak, Electro-Shock Blues and Daisies of the Galaxy, respectively). 'Daisies of the Galaxy' was followed up with the guitar-laden and barn-storming 'Souljacker' and in a way 'Wonderful, Glorious' follows this pattern, being very much a balls-out, grizzled, straight-up blues rock record.

Most of the songs have been written during sessions with the whole band and this really shows in that maybe for the first time in their career this really sounds like a rock band; not just songs by E arranged to be performed by others. I'm not saying if that's good or bad, but it certainly makes for a different record. Some of the production and overall sound hark back to classic rock of the 70s - listen to the warm guitar on tracks like 'Wonderful, Glorious' or the organ and percussion during the build-up on 'The Turnaround'. As some others have said, the songs are a bit of a slow burn, but repeat listens reveal some highlights: 'Peach Blossom' is head and shoulders my favourite, with a seriously satisfying fuzzy bass groove. 'New Alphabet' and 'Bombs Away' also stand out as top tunes.

Tough and tender, with serious attitude and swagger, 'Wonderful, Glorious' is another great and unique addition to the Eels catalogue.

PS - It is well worth the extra money for the 2-disc edition - following a spoken intro you get four more new studio songs as well as storming live versions of some Eels classics old and new.

Price: 12.58

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best TMBG album in nearly 20 years, 4 July 2013
This review is from: Nanobots (Audio CD)
Being a latter-day TMBG fan is a frustrating experience. I know they are still capable of writing and releasing great songs, but the last decade has been so full of lacklustre-to-inconsistent albums it makes me almost dread forthcoming records. Some of their better work in this period has appeared in podcasts and on their children's albums, or on contemporaneous albums like 'Cast Your Pod to the Wind' where they could really break loose and raise their freak flag. So it was with fairly low expectations that I listened to 'Nanobots'.

It feels like around the time of 'Mink Car', when they were also working on 'No!', the guys' foray into kid's music forced them to make a considered distinction between the songs they considered childish or to be a 'novelty' and the more serious songs they would feature on albums. This heralded a new age of uninspired, uninteresting albums that lacked the imagination, instrumentation, weird arrangements and subject matter of their best, early work. 'Nanobots' isn't exactly a return to these days, but it does shake off some of the song writing and production chains of recent albums.

Highlights include the super- catchy rocker 'You're On Fire,' which features an awesome harmonica break towards the end; the satisfyingly creepy surf-rock pastiche 'Call You Mom,' the electro-hip-hop of 'The Darlings of Lumberland,' which is quite unlike anything else in the TMBG canon; and the jagged power-pop of 'Circular Karate Chop,' which could almost fit with their earlier material, sounding something like a cross between 'Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head' and 'Twisting'. Some people have picked up on the slew of short songs, likening the vibe to 'Fingertips' from 'Apollo 18'. I personally didn't get the sense that they were recycling this concept; many of the short songs are really enjoyable and find their place as part of the album as a whole. The ones that don't - well, they don't outstay their welcome.

Unfortunately, the album sags around the middle with too many insignificant songs that are merely OK. It's also blighted by lyrics that think they're cleverer than they are, and can come off a little cringeworthy. A line like "amputate the thought that says you shouldn't ever amputate a thought" from '9 Secret Steps' is cute, not clever and is almost formulaic at this stage of their career.

There are too many songs that don't quite connect to make this a 5-star album but fair-weather fans should take notice that this is a really good album; really interesting, enjoyable, jam-packed with great melodies and musical ideas and a healthy dose of old-school TMBG instrumentation and weirdness. Get it!

The Directors Cut - A New Years Revolution [DVD] [2011]
The Directors Cut - A New Years Revolution [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Fantomas
Price: 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music, great performance, interesting production, 28 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you are a fan of the band then you should know what to expect; a thrillingly tight and intense performance of all the songs from The Director's Cut along with an encore of 'Simply Beautiful' and 'Chariot Choogle'. If you're not already a fan then I would say this is as good an introduction to Fantomas or even the world of Patton side-projects as you are going to find.

The footage is first-rate; there seem to be cameras everywhere. There's already some griping in the reviews about the post-production, which is cool at best, distracting at worst. Personally I enjoyed most of the effects and the attempt to make this more like a music video. And if there's any band that wacky filters are going to enhance, it's Fantomas.

Just buy the thing!

PS No Lombardo so DALE CROVER fills in - an absolute must for any Melvins fans!

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