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on 2 March 2010
Some fans are touting this as the greatest Eels album yet, which I think is jumping the gun.

This is a fine Eels offering, but it is not the best. In fact - content aside- some of the tracks sound so familiar compared to other Eels songs that I'm worried they'll get lost in time.

The stand out track for me is Apple Trees, which, while short, harkens back to the days of Susan's House in style.
Also good is Unhinged, probably because it doesn't sound like a typical Eels track and it's nice to hear something a bit different.

This is a very good, heart-wrenching collection of beautiful songs... But I miss the more experimental days of Electro-Shock Blues and Souljacker.
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on 14 October 2014
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on 20 January 2010
After in IN YOUR FACE style of Hombre Lobo, Mark Everett has returned to a stark semi acoustic style. I consider it beautiful but his most "down" album since Electro-Shock Blues. In fact the track "A Line In The Dirt" which starts with the line " She locked herself in the bathroom again" I thought was going to deal with the suicide of his sister again, but in fact I consider deals with another personal relationship. Everett has a wonderful way with words, which as anyone who knows his work, he uses sparsely, but always to good effect - the song "Little Bird" paints the picture of loss so graphically yet wonderfully in only 16 lines!

On the main album, an interlude (as I would call it) is given a track listing, so in reality you only have 13 proper tracks with a running time of under 40mins. Whilst I have here the double album with a bonus 4 tracks EP that runs just under 10mins, why couldn't it have been all on one CD - a bit silly.

The bonus EP contains 4 really good songs so it is worth getting the "Deluxe Edition" if you can, and the packaging is a digipak with plastic (why?) inserts for the CDs.

All in all then an excellent album for fans of his work, but maybe not the the best place to start if you have not come across Eels before (try Beautiful Freak or Daisies of the Galaxy). If you want to know more about the man behind the band, Mark Oliver Everett, then I highly recommend his autobiography Things the Grandchildren Should Know in which he tells the story of his (quite) tragic life with a heavy dose of humour - I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
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on 2 March 2010
Eels albums tend to fall into one of two categories; autobiographical masterpieces like Electro-Shock Blues and Blinking Lights and Other Revelations and more straight ahead rock albums like Shootenanny! and Souljacker. Hombre Lobo fell into the latter category, End Times is Mr. E's latest foray into the former, with spectacular results to almost equal those previous two classics.

While E is remaining uncharacteristically tight lipped about the real life details this time around, this is broadly a break-up album, and the conflict and confusion of separation are rendered with his typically straightforward emotional directness. Falling somewhere between the martyred self-righteousness of Blood On The Tracks and Sea Change's rueful melancholy, E is alternately venomous (the frantic fuzz of Unhinged, the disses of I Need a Mother) and tender (the longing recollections of acoustic opener The Beginning, the plaintive and lonesome Little Bird).

Many of the songs are stark in execution, the comparison to the blues is a good one I think. The Beginning, End Times and Little Bird are just Mr.E and his guitar. This, along with interludes of rain, a telephone ringing and spoken address really create a feeling of intimacy, as though you're right there in Everett's basement with him. A Line in The Dirt and the Neil Youngish Nowadays are more lushly arranged, and this works well too, with the melodies brought out in a really beautiful way.

I'm a little puzzled by some of the negative reviews here. To criticise an Eels album for being bleak, or for following an established musical template, at this stage seems a little like renting Jean Claude Van Damme's latest straight to DVD spectacular then complaining that the plot's a little thin, or that you've seen him doing roundhouse kicks before. I would have no hesitation recommending this to Eels fans, and for those who appreciate E's sense of humour, the two disc edition has to be the one. The porch ballad $200 Dollar tattoo, featuring the immortal brag, "It hurt a little, man it hurt a lot, but a man who won't commit is something I'm not" is classic stuff.
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on 17 February 2010
To simply put it, this is a perfect "breakup cd". It's subject matter is divorce, aging and loneliness and for me this is a beautifully depressing subject matter.
I find if something is really depressing then it is beautiful because it affects you so much, and E is capable of this.
There is a definite feel of the blues throughout this album in the style of music which compliments the lyrics perfectly.
Some people may think that this album is too simple as far as the music goes but I don't think that such a delicate and powerful subject matter could be complimented any better.
And I wouldn't like the music to over power his lyrics.
It's also an album about aging and change so it's only right that this should be different from his previous work.
Some might also say that the album is a bit "samey". I know what they mean, there is something that seems to go between each song and link them all together. But as E is my favourite song writer I cannot criticise this, but I can love it.
I think it really conveys his words incredibly well, it gives everything a trance like feel which is exactly how you would feel if you had come out of a relationship.
And the final track, it has a sense of optimism to it. That'll he'll be back on his feet which makes the whole album a delight to listen to. It makes you sad but my the end you are being uplifted.

Don't be put off if you have never listened to much of the EELS because while I listened to this I converted my parents to them. It's a very easy listening and pleasing album to listen to for anyone who is a fan of music.
And for the die hard fans, well there is nothing I could say because I'd be preaching to the converted.
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on 26 January 2010
When I heard E was going to release another album so soon after Hombre Lobo I was worried that thee's be a marked loss of quality, thankfully I was wrong. This album is poignant and like a lot of Eels very introspective in fact I'd rate it up there with Blinking Lights and only slightly under Electro Shock Blues (the best Eels album in my opinion). It charts a relationship from it's beginning where the world seems to pale into insignificance when you're with your new found love to the final arguments and the heart wrenching pain of making a previously unthought of decision with all the highs and lows you experience on the way.

While dark in places (see paradise blues, I need a mother and a line in the dirt) it ends on a redemptive note with E announcing he's back on his feet and ready to face the world anew and his wry and humurous observations abound. I'd say 4/5. Give it a go when you just want to relax and chill to one of the most interesting song writers of modern times.
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on 18 January 2010
This new Eels album follows on just 6 months after the release of Hombre Loco, with beautiful, heart-rending songs driven by the pain and anguish of a broken relationship. Powerful lyrics set in the misleadingly simple tunes and instrumentation E usus in most of his albums, this simplicity just emphasises the stark beuaty of the words.
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on 29 April 2010
As a fan of Eels it has been really enjoyable watching the artist evolve into one of the most beautifully melancholy songwriters and performers there has ever been.

This album is full of quirky tracks that get better everytime I give them a listen. The opener 'The Beginning' is a sombre look at the opening salvo in a burgeoning relationship, this is magnificently portrayed and the album just grows from this strong point, stand out tracks are difficult to select as the entire album is full of stunning and intricate instrumentation, high quality song writing and wonderful, seemingly biographical, twists and turns.

At this moment, and I must stress at this moment, the songs which are really happening for me are the brilliant 'I Need A Mother', 'A Line In The Dirt' and 'Mansions of Los Feliz'. For those that have given this album a listen and not found it to be excellent, I would urge you to give it another listen and I am sure you will become hooked.
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on 4 January 2015
Being an early fan of Eels, I'm expecting: 1) more of same but beautiful; 2) something different. In other words, I want to be surprised.

After the four year hyatus following the wonderful Blinking Lights (Eels' last great album), I found Hombre Lobo disappointing (average ballads, off-the-shelf rock'n'roll). End Times follows the same trend downhill with a different mood. Eels' lyrics are Eels' lyrics, and I have nothing to object. But the music is monotone, everything sounds the same, typical Eels' ballads without a twist. Somebody compared this album to Electro-shock Blues: oh dear, no. That collection of songs was mournful, yes, but a musical rollercoaster.

Three songs stand out from the average: A line in the dirt, End times, Unhinged, though I doubt any of them would have made it in previous albums.
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on 22 January 2010
Only listened to it twice and little about it is inspiring me to want to listen to it again. I love the Eels and have all their albums and love them all with the exception of Electro-shock blues and this one. These are self-pitying songs with no hope in them. Listening to the Eels used to be an uplifting experience. Still, I guess that's just where Mr E is at right now, and if this music reflects the way he feels right now then so be it. At least he's honest. Hopefully he will have cheered up by the time he makes his next album.
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