Shootenanny! [VINYL] Import
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Top Customer Reviews
While it is true that the previous 4 albums were always going to be a hard act to follow, Eel's 5th album shouldn't be condemned as simply a taster for the (admittedly magnificent) Blinking Lights.
Opening track "All In A Day's Work" displays E's black humour at it's best, while "Saturday Morning", as another reviewer pointed out already, should evoke fond memories for any of us who recall what it was like to be a kid waking up at the start of the weekend wondering what havoc we could cause that day-I could even claim that listening to it has made me more forgiving of my own kids when they run riot through my flat of a Saturday afternoon. Indeed, to me at least, it is this ability to write poignantly on any subject from childhood experience to the (rather more dark) material of "Restraining Order Blues" which marks Mark "E" Everett out as one of the finest songwriters of this generation(along with the wonderful Ian McNabb-but that's another story...)
But this is not a "bleak" album in the way that say, "Electro-Shock Blues" was, although still a fine work in itself maybe not the best "starting point" for the curious first-time Eel's purchaser? Admittedly I am too sentimental for my own good but the two songs which make this album for me are the glorious "Numbered Days" and to a slightly lesser extent the closer "Somebody Loves You". If these songs don't fail to melt the hardest heart or bring solace to anybody who(like most of us)has had a hard time either generally or from the dreaded "affairs of the heart" then there really is no hope for you(and I speak as a cynic).Read more ›
However, in the case of Shootenanny! my first impression is that it is a masterpiece to rank alongside Beautiful Freak and Electro-Shock Blues (an album which the Melody Maker derided as unlistenable and then promptly and amusingly went bust). The subject matter of the new album still relates and appeals to the outsider in society, but the music reverts to the melodic pop/rock of Beautiful Freak.
A melancholic, bluesy influence is apparent in the tracks All In A Day’s Work, Agony and Restraining Order Blues, with its repeated plea, "Everybody knows that I'm not a violent man", contrasting with the touching poignancy of the most beautifully realised song on the album, Numbered Days (the equivalent, if you like, to Manchild on Beautiful Freak).
As for Saturday Morning, E has not created a more wide-eyed, childlike, magical vision of the world since Tomorrow I'll Be Nine on his solo album Broken Toy Shop. The Good Old Days is another throwback to E's solo material, exhibiting a gentle world-weariness, while the laid-back, funky Love Of The Loveless is the album's summer anthem. The dry humour which pervades the album is probably best exemplified by Fashion Awards, a satire on the fashion industry.
From the muso's point of view (and skip to the end of the paragraph if this is likely to bore you to death), Rock Hard Times is the most interesting track on the album. The descending bass line which provides the basis for the chorus is first played in the key of B-flat, and later in F, C and G.Read more ›
This album is definitely an improvement on the spiky, mixed bag that was Souljacker. It has some of the catchiest tunes I've ever heard from The Eels (Saturday Morning, Dirty Girl and Lone Wolf being highlights) which are interspersed with beautiful, meaningful melodies such as Somebody Loves You and The Good Old Days. My favourite? Agony, which is one of the most haunting, interesting songs I've heard in a long while.
Why The Eels are not massively popular in the UK where you would surely expect their black humour to appeal is a mystery to me. However, maybe its a good thing as their intimate gigs are a real hidden treasure.
Although it lacks some of the quirkiness and originality of 'Daisies of the Galaxy', it is still one of the best albums around. He experiments with his voice, as well as the guitar and electronics, to give him his instantaneously recognisable sound.
An absolute must for every Eels lover, a great pick-me-up as well as an emotional album, it gets better with every hearing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this album. As a long time Eels fan I somehow missed this one when it was released, and I certainly seem to have missed out! Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2011 by Stu
I didn't know what to expect from this album at all so what a fantastic surprise it turned out to be. The first thing that struck me was how immediate the album was for me. Read morePublished on 17 Feb. 2008 by Dr Teeth
A short review because there's not much to say to be honest! I love E and this is quite simply a fantastic album. Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2008 by Tony Fulton
I have been trying to decide which is my favourite album of all time between "Elephant by the White Stripes, "Absolution" by Muse or this, and I think this album just wins it,... Read morePublished on 13 April 2005 by Mr. P. J. Hannington