Top critical review
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A Return To Form...Almost
on 3 June 2003
Up until the release of 'Souljacker' in 2001 I honestly believed eels could do no wrong. But the banality of that album, on the whole, changed my mind. And so it was with some anxiety that I awaited the release of 'Shootenanny!'. With no UK release of any single before the albums release I had no idea which direction Mr E and co. had decided to take, hoping that they had abandoned the harder rock stodge that made up the most of 'Souljacker'. Fortunately they have.
Although there is nothing on this album that stands up to the emotional beauty and complexity of any track on their first two albums, there are some superb songs here, notably 'All In A Day's Work', 'Dirty Girl' and 'Fashion Awards'.
Many of the tracks have done away with the sonic experamentalism of earlier eels work, and bears a closer resemblance to the musical styles of E's solo work.
All in all a worthwhile and enjoyable album, though nowhere near as special as 'Beatiful Freak' or 'Electro Shock Blues'.