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Shootenanny! [VINYL] Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (3 Jun. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Spinart
  • ASIN: B00009ATJ8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,932,171 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reading through some of the other reviews from Amazon customer's on this album reinforces my view that Shootenanny! doesn't always get the credit it deserves.

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).
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Format: Audio CD
I'm an Eels fan, I'd better get that off my chest before I begin. This doesn't mean that I'm biased towards them, but rather that, like most Eels fans, I'm inclined to be pessimistic that any new album is unlikely to match up to previous offerings.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Those familiar with The Eels will be used to a mixture of dark and uplifting melodies with an injection of black humour and you won't be disappointed with Shootenanny! If you've not experienced The Eels before, I urge anyone who enjoys intelligent music to go out and buy this - E has to be one of the most talented songwriters around who always seems able to make me smile with one lyric but then contemplative with another.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
After the disappointment of the last album, 'Souljacker', I was slightly worried about this new one. However, I needn't have been. As in 'Daisies of the Galaxy', the album constantly switches between emotions, from funny to wistful to lonely and back to simple happiness again. E's genius in always picking the right words comes through, especially in 'Dirty Girl', as he mixes humour with regret, and again in 'Rock Hard Times' and 'Restraining Order Blues'. And, once again, it rocks.
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.
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