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E's 'Classic Rock' Album,
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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.