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on 18 November 2017
good buy
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2005
Another classic album from the group who brought you Beautiful Freak and the wonderful Electroshock Blues. Musically this is a lighter album than Electroshock and less mainstream than Freak as we see the band start to experiment with different sounds and instruments, nothing like a bit of horn. Lyrically Daisies is stock Eels fare, with a variety of songs touching on love, loss and loneliness.
Particular highlights include Grace Kelly Blues - "The Kid at the mall works at hoddog-on-a-stick; his hat is a funny shape, his heart is a brick," - Selective Memory and Something Is Sacred.
Eels seem to go from strength to strength and this album is just another step up the ladder.
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on 28 July 2000
"I don't know how you take in all the s*** you receive" sings E on the infectiously upbeat yet often sarcastic "Mr E's Beautiful Blues". Perhaps the answer lies in the light, simple feel of much of this album. A marked departure from the tragic mood that prevailed on "Electro-Shock Blues", E spends much of "Daisies of the Galaxy" with his head in the clouds.
The funereal opener, "Grace Kelly Blues" offers closure, a final cathartic release. A stately brass band pounds out a sombre, skeletal introduction seemingly wandering in from a 1980s Tom Waits album, before giving way to an acoustic guitar and E in a reflective mood. Surveying the world in which he's woken up yet again, he lets loose a silent chuckle and sums up with genuine wonder, "I think, you know, I'll be okay". Somehow it's certain he means it, particularly when the song segues seamlessly into the gorgeous "Packing Blankets", E's voice full of hope and liberation as he sets off on an unnamed path, determined to put an end to "all the troubles you and I have seen".
The open-road imagery of "Packing Blankets" suggests a long hot summer, a theme echoed throughout the album. E's at one with nature, whether studying the daisies pushing themselves up through concrete, or swatting the flies in his kitchen. Even the giant man-made spectacle of a rocket launch leaves him unfazed, preferring to stare beyond "the trophy wives of the astronauts" to the birds that flock all around, unaware of the scale of the disruption they face.
For all his newly-revealed joie de vivre, E's songs still display a rich awareness of the need for human contact and comfort. "Jeannie's Diary" is a heartbreaking tale of unrequited love, albeit with a sly admission of the shortcomings of both the dreamer and the object of his obsession ("oh she's got a dark side too, even murderous..."). "Its a Motherf***er", probably the best song here, evokes the longing and loneliness of a distanced lover (or possibly a recently-abandoned one) with stark simplicity. Album closer (save for the oddball bonus inclusion of the single), "Selective Memory", delivered in a childlike falsetto, is a companion piece to "Manchild", the tender conclusion of "Beautiful Freak". Its regret for the distance between what we want to hold in our mind's eye and the memories that slip away is offset by a naive belief that "if I lay my head down, I will see you in my dreams".
The cute children's illustration on the cover is no red herring, suggesting a nostalgic simplicity. E's given himself a straightforward enough brief: pare the songs down, tighten the production and stick to the standard three minutes. Despite the occasional piece of Beck-ish percussion and grooves, particularly on "Mr E's Beautiful Blues" (a bonus track presumably because it sits slightly at odds with the pastoral tone of much of the rest of the album), its a curiously old-fashioned trick. Yet E gets away with dumbly praising birds, and resurrecting homespun philosophies such as "don't take any wooden nickels, when you sell your soul", mainly because the tone is so affirming. If this sounds twee, he figures, so be it. Sometimes its best to go back to the simple things, filter through the best bits of your selective memory, and remind yourself of the good things. As E probably knows too well, life's too short.
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on 15 December 2004
Eels were one of those bands who I'd always wanted to get more into, after hearing 'Novocaine...' but for whatever reason, i decided to get this album first. Prt of me is a little gutted i did though, because next to this, anything E and his not-so-merry men have created pails in insignifance.
The very Beatles-esque intro to Grace Kelly Blues fades away to reveal how the rest of this album means to go on...simple acoustic guitar parts, backed with functional basslines and catchy melodies. Tis may not sound like much, but the result really is beautiful in it's simplicity.
Fans of E's other stuff may be incredibly surprised by the albums positive vibe, in contrast to the bleak, atmospheric Beautiful Freak and Electro-Shock Blues. Even more so, when they find out this album was written in direct response to the death of his mother and sister. Interesting...
The best song on this album, probably through no coincidence being the simplest too, comes in Track 4s 'I like birds'. Using an effortless 3 chord progression, chirpy lyrics and a whistled backing melody, the song practically beams out of your speakers at you, unearthing many happy memories you feared lost.
This album will wake you up on a monday morning, restore your faith in life, reassure you through bad times, and make you smile through the good (hence the title of this review...). I recommend any music fan gives this a try, as its appeal is universal. No doubt about it, worth all of its 5 stars...
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on 22 March 2004
First of all, can everyone understand this... Mr E's beautiful blues is not the happy song the reviewers have so far desribed. It may have a funky bass line and the lyrics 'God damn right it's a beautiful day' but those lyrics are just mr E being sarcastic. He is as beautifully sad on this song as on previous albums, for example the first verse 'The smokestack is spitting black soot into the sooty sky/ The load on the road brings a tear to the Indian's eye' or 'The clown with the frown driving down to the sidewalk fair/Finger on the trigger let me tell you gave us quite a scare'
But enough of this complaining, this is a beautiful album, but it doesn't quite have the depth of Electro-shock blues. For some the aforementioned album does get a little repetitively depressive, but for me that is where mr E is at his best. The chirpy 'I like birds' is a plus, but the best moments come thick and fast near the end, with emotional songs like 'Jeannies diary' and 'Something is sacred' The only negative thing i have to say about the album is the pointless instrumental 'Estate sale'.
This is an excellent album, as you would expect from Eels, but doesn't quite reach the heights of Electro-shock blues or Beautiful freak. Still, it is definately worth buying for anyone who recognises musical talent in beautiful music and doesn't just say think that if you listen to Eels/Radiohead/Elbow etc you want to commit suicide.
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on 20 June 2002
i hadnt really heard much from the eels before listening to "daisies of the galaxy", apart from "novocaine for the soul" and "susan's house" so i didnt really know what to expect. i was pleasantly suprised, its a really...um...dare i say it, happy, album. the fairytale like samples mixed in with mainly acoustic guitars with some meaningful lyrics create a really easy listening effect. i say some meaningful lyircs, because the words to "i like birds" go something along the lines of "if you're small and on a search, i've got a feeder for you to perch on" which i suppose might be meaningful to a budgie, but sadly not to me! But others are quite inspired such as those to "selective memory": "leaning in to hear you, you will whisper in my ear, and everything i need to know i finally hear"
basically, i think this cd tops "electro-shock blues" (apart from the legendary "last stop:this town") and sits along side "beautiful freak" (although i couldnt say about souljacker having never heard it) and is a must for anyones cd collection. the eels have branched many genres with "daisies in the galaxy", and anyone who likes good music will love it.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2004
Far more upbeat and less raw than Electroshock Blues, this is a slightly more grounded return to the ethereal and introverted melodies of Beautiful Freak. An amazing array of different sounds and styles seem to be at the disposal of this unusual and highly talented band: we hear bandstand trumpets in 'Grace Kelly Blues', haunting chimes and vocals at the beginning of 'Flyswatter,' compared with the simple piano in 'Jeannie's Diary.' These provide a remarkable setting for even more remarkable lyrics, and yet somehow E links all the different themes into something that is instantly recognisable, all sharing the common feeling of isolation and alienation that is typical of Eels.
And yet, despite the highly depressing nature of most of the songs, there we find something uplifting and hopeful in their ashes. 'Jeanie's Diary' is incredibly touching, as is 'Wooden Nickels.' The surreal imagery in the fantastic bonus track 'Mr E's Beautiful Blues' creates a nostalgic circus dreamworld in which anything can happen. 'Daisies of the Galaxy', 'Estate Sale' and 'Something is Sacred' continue where Beautiful Freak's 'Susan's House' left off in their exploration of the desolation and loneliness in a modern commercial urban jungle, and yet we are led to believe that occasionally daisies do burst through the concrete.
E's unfaltering belief that comes across in the songs that he is special, an individual, separate, could be egotistic and arrogant: however it is easy for us to make that same jump of ego and indulge ourselves in imagining that we too are Daisies of the Galaxy. Every song can be heart-breaking orinspiring: every one is melodic and heartfelt. This will certainly not be to everyone's taste, but it potentially has an enormous amount to offer.
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on 8 October 2003
Not everyone's cup of tea. If you want disco or headbanging rock then look elsewhere !
Really really excellent album - deeply moving, amusing, personal, great lyrics. One of my ten all time favourite CDs.
Some tracks have immediate appeal; others are more subtle and take a bit of time.
At the risk of going off-topic;
- 1st CD Beautiful Freak is also good, especially the first 4-5 tracks. at least 4 stars
- 2nd CD Electro shock blues has some incredibly sad and moving lyrics - brought tears to my eyes reading them. but listening to the CD only the first track made a big impression. Lyrics 5* execution 3*.
- 4th CD Souljacker - variable, 3*.
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on 6 May 2002
Before I heard this, I hadnt realy heard much eels. I'd heard a bit from the souljacker album and thats about it. I didnt know what to expect. But within hearing the first couple of minutes of opening song, "Grace Kelly Blues", I new I'd found something special. Every track is mindblowing in its own way. From the atmospheric groves and clever lyrics of "Flyswatter" to the swinging toe-tappin fun of "Tiger in My Tank" and, my personal favourite, "jeanies Diary", this is a mondern day work of genius. It makes you fell all emotions in existance with just a couple of listens. Enjoy.
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on 8 April 2005
Simple songs, beatiful songs, happy songs, sad songs.At times stunningly original. The sad songs seem to have more impact than on 'Electro-Shock' because they're in a setting of such innocent sweetness. For me it's a dream of that innocence of childhood we all hunger for in musical form , mixed with waking up to the sadness of the grown-up world.
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