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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Secret Garden
I am forever indebted to Maisie for being enthusiastic enough to sufficiently persuade my subconscience to firstly pick this out of a crowded record store rack and secondly buy it. The short review ends here: it's utterly flawless, buy it now.
Shy and flirtatious, the record is most immediately striking in its peculiar mix of the odd and the impenetrable. Give it...
Published on 31 Aug. 2003 by ten_bob_revolutionary2

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Okay not great
Published 4 months ago by Terry


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a mans feelings laid out in a most touching way., 14 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
Thi, the follow up to their debut album beautiful freak. What can I say? Some of the best and most touching ballads of our time even making some of Nirvanas offerings pale in their light. The best songs on the album, those that touch the bare nerves of the listeners body allowing us unwarrented access in the mind of singer/songwritter E, are as follows. Climbing up to the moon. A song which allows us to see that there is not only hope but that E can see beyond the deaths of beloved family members and on into the big wide world. The other song is The medication is wearing off. E's answer to the song Novacain for the soul (Beautiful freak). What can I say. E's mellow yet strangely telling voice once again reaches out and takes the hand of the listener, taking them on a lyrical and emotional adventure which leaves you almost out of breath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defies description, 11 Nov. 2001
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
A Canadian friend recommended I try out the Eels a while back but I never caved in til last week. I read the reviews on Amazon after I bought it and was expecting a bit of a dirge really. Wrong, so wrong. This piece defies description. I've never seen musical eclecticism taken to such an xtreme in the diversity of styles. Lyrically it's rare you'll find a writer who can be quirky, poignant,humourous and inspiring all in one song. That is done with ease on more than one occasion here. I know it's wrong to pigeon-hole bands but they remind me of Sonic Youth in their more reflective moments, the Lemonheads in terms of lyrics, and Neil Young in trems of vocal delivery. Suffice to say I shall be adding the rest of their back catalogue to my CD collection in he coming weeks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best album ever created, 2 Aug. 2001
By 
nickennit@aol.com (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
Well where do I start. The eels are my favorite band and this is for one main reason - electro shock blues. Everything about the album is amazing. I love each of the eels's albums but electro shock blues seems to stand out from the other two. The lyrics in particular are amazing and I think frontman "E" deserves a huge amount of respect for writing such amazing songs about what he has been through. My favorite track on the album is "The medication is wearing off" and songs such as "Last stop" and "Elizabeth on the bathroom floor" are also amazing. Many described electro shock blues as being depressing. I strongly disagree and feel in ways it is one of the most positive and uplifting albums ever. I'd recomend this album to anyone who apretiates good music and especially good song writing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A true work of art, 17 July 2013
By 
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
Well, if you're feeling a bit down, I suggest that you give this album a wide berth because, although there are plenty of examples of Mark 'E' Everett's wit and humour here and many wonderful, beautiful moments on "Electro-Shock Blues", this is an album completely overshadowed by tragic events in his life: the suicide of his sister Elizabeth and the slow death of his Mother, Nancy, who succumbed to lung cancer. The title of the album itself refers to the therapy his sister received whilst institutionalised. So, I think it is fair to say that if you're feeling emotionally fragile, this may not be the best music to play to help you through it. To describe this as a "difficult second album" is an understatement. However, rather than it simply being difficult for Eels to follow a successful début with a second of equal quality, it's doubly difficult for the listener to appreciate this without a lot of hard work and the absorption of some very uncomfortable and deeply personal lyrics. It's certainly an excellent album, but it's considerably different from their first and takes quite a few plays to be able to appreciate it fully and to see past the darkness. I could understand anybody who enjoyed "Beautiful Freak" listening to this once and deciding that it's not for them. However, for those who decide to persevere, there is a rather special album here just waiting to be discovered.

The album begins with the pared-down "Elizabeth On The Bathroom Floor" which is based on some of the final entries in his sister's diary and the sombre, personal feel continues from that stark opener. Even the more accessible, catchier tracks are a little uncommercial. "Cancer For The Cure" is a moody jazz shuffle with a disturbing theme (sample lyric: "And Father knows best/about suicide and smack") and "Hospital Food" sounds very much like Massachusetts jazz-fusion trio Morphine with some bizarre lyrics to match. The first track that resembles anything like the material that made "Beautiful Freak" such a success is "My Descent Into Madness" with some lovely string phrases and an uplifting musical feel, totally contrary to the subject matter. With its jaunty beat and harpsichord riff, "Last Stop: This Town" could have been lifted straight from their début and is the closest thing here to being a radio-friendly hit, but its darkness is well hidden, as the still directly addresses the suicide of his sister. The gentle, rather pretty "Baby Genius" was written about E's quantum physicist Father, but the lyrics are opaque and it's difficult to tell exactly what he is trying to say.

One of my very favourite tracks on the album is "Climbing To The Moon", a truly beautiful track about refusing to be dragged down by the trauma and tragedy of his then current life. "Dead Of Winter" however, is difficult to listen to for anybody who has lost somebody they love from cancer as there are specific references that people will recognise and it will surely remind them of a time in their life they would probably rather forget. I suppose that is the mark of a fantastic piece of art, something that can instil such feelings in you. "The Medication Is Wearing Off", about Elizabeth, is also a stunning piece of work, but the sadness of the lyrics juxtaposed with the beauty of the music is almost unbearably poignant. The final track, "P.S. You Rock My World" is the much needed ray of light and is a very welcome postscript to the whole album when after all the death in his life, Mark decides that "maybe it's time to live". It isn't the greatest piece of music on the album, but it works and provides relief and a little hope to the listener.

It's very difficult to surmise quite how I feel about "Electro-Shock Blues". At the time, I heard it and dismissed it after a couple of listens as a piece of work that just couldn't compare with "Beautiful Freak", an album that I considered (and still consider) a work of genius. However, I have listened to "Electro-Shock Blues" a lot recently, discovered exactly what it is about and have been completely won over by the depth of the writing, the emotion invested into it and Everett's frankness and honesty. Much of the subject matter is uncomfortable, deeply sad and, at times, you almost feel as if you are intruding into his grief by listening, but, although I am no expert, I imagine that there was therapeutic value in writing and recording this album and he has certainly created something with a very high artistic value as a result. It's that artistic value that makes me want to give this piece of work full marks, but - if I'm completely honest about it - it is, musically, a lesser album than "Beautiful Freak", is not quite as enjoyable overall and it really does take a lot of time, energy and emotion to fully understand and appreciate. Some parts of it are undeniably magnificent, others don't quite hit the mark. In my opinion, it's a fractured work of flawed genius but, considering the loss and pain Mark went through, I think the flaws and more underwhelming moments are both understandable and forgiveable. Personally speaking, I think it's an astonishing piece of work and I can appreciate why it is many Eels fans' favourite album, but I more than understand why it may not be for everybody as well, even those who enjoy a lot of the band's other work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars E IS GOD!, 1 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
I'm kind of working my way backwards since I bought 'Daisies of The Galaxy'. As a new Eels fan I would have to say that the two albums are radically different from each other. In fact, 'Electro-Shock.' sounds more REM than the one with the REM input! While 'Daisies' relied on strange samples that confirmed that the band was indeed 'Kooky.' This album demonstrates E's ability to write heartfelt guitar based songs ('3 Speed' 'Ant Farm' 'Climbing to the Moon'), which are about as hard to swallow as Travis' back catalogue. One of the things that made them stand out was the inimitable E. Every good alternative band needs a front man with a screw loose, he is no exception. The aforementioned guitar pieces don't ruin his usual tales of mental illness, cancer and suicide (all autobiographical) they simply make them more accessible. None of this goes to say that 'Electro-Shock Blues' was a departure from the one and only Eels sound, as crafted by the artist formerly known as Mark Oliver Everett. True Eels fans will drool at the likes of 'Cancer For The Cure' and the classic 'Last Stop- This Town'. All in all a fantastic album, even a Travis fan would enjoy it. ('Well hee, hee, hee'.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars very personal moments, 6 Oct. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
Ok so you have just been signed and your first album and it getsin the top ten and you get a single in the top 5 in America so you are on top of the world and nothing can go wrong. Well umm yes during that year your sister commits suicide while you are on tour and then you find out that your mother has cancer and is going to die in a couple months. I would not want that to happen to anyone I know so now you know what we are in for when listening to this album. They cut to the chase with their second song 'Going to Your Funeral Part 1' which by now you know exactly what he is talking about, enter the next 'Cancer for the Cure' which is about his mother. Ok at this point if you are into the album and you have a heart and nobody is around you are going to start filling up as I did or maybe I'm just a big softy. His forth song 'My Descent Into Madness' pretty much explains how he feels now he has no way to make this feel too happy a song. There are lots of guests who appear on the album, don't get me wrong this album is full of melodies and passion but I have never heard an album that lets you get inside of the writers head like this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars deep and beutiful, 17 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
I bought this album because i felt it had an interesting cover design. Little did i know i was going to spend fifty minutes inside e's (the lead singer) head. The album as a whole is fantastic. It has everything a person who is serious about music wants. It has melodies, lyrics of extreme deepness and a general creepyness. The album is no means a depressive one. There are songs (climbing to the moon) that can inspire and really uplift. E leaves us on the last song with a line that really came home to me. He talks of how all his friends and family are dying then sings the line "isn't it time we began to live". The man talks perfect sence. Welldone eels, a much better offering than your first album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Melodies Abound, 9 Dec. 2011
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
Given the personal tragedies that Mark Everett was going through at the time, the fact that he was able to produce an album of beautiful (predominantly) ballads is all the more remarkable. Whilst the lyrics reflect the difficulties he was no doubt going through, the overall mood of the music does not and I actually find it very uplifting.

There are very few weak songs on the album, and highlights for me are Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor, Cancer For The Cure, Electro-shock Blues and Last Stop This Town. The closing three songs (Dead of Winter, The Medication is Wearing Off and PS You Rock My World) also provide one of the most beautiful trios of closing songs on any album I've heard.

Essential listening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars E is king of the hookline, ostinato and emotional music!, 1 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
This album is just simply a fantastic display of how someones feelings can be expressed through music. Before I got the album, the reviews that I had read were saying that it was very depressing, which made me a bit hesitant in buying it, but I decided to go ahead with it. And now, I wish I'd brought it sooner.
I've found it a great album to just sit down to relax to, do some work or revise for exams (GCSE's in my case).
Futhermore, while some people may say it's depressing (which it can be), but what E has said in response to this album was that it was uplifting and one of the best albums he'll ever write, to which I fully agree.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional ride that leaves you a better person, 4 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Electro-Shock Blues (Audio CD)
Rarely do we come across an album that has the potential to change our lives. Rarely do we find such honesty, openess and vulnerability within 'pop' records. But with this album we do. The fragility of the mental state of E (lead vocalist and songwriter) is a constant interuption to the listenr but only in such a way that makes this album all the more glorious. Themes of death, despair pervade the album but the conclusion leaves you uplifted having gone through the mill but come out the better for it and stronger than ever. This album is tremendous and is a must for healing the soul.
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Electro-Shock Blues
Electro-Shock Blues by Eels (Audio CD - 1999)
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