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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 7 June 2009
At 1st listen, this didn't seem the most instantly memorable Eels album but after having it for less than a week, E's songs have already worked their magic and got into my head. The album draws from a full range of styles from across the Eels back catalogue - Prizefighter, Tremendous Dynamite and Fresh Blood are heavy, snarling tunes; My Timing Is Off and All the Beautiful Things are smart, catchy melodies; What's a Fella Supposed To Do has the most amazing guitar riff under-pinning the song. There isn't a Top 10 single here but just 12 high quality tunes that collectively make a fantastic album; the return of Knuckles and Koool G Murder have added a richness and depth to the sound versus some of the recent Eels releases when E was effectively a one man band. Rest assured that this album certainly stands up against some of the Eels' career highlights, such as Electro-Shock Blues, Daisies of the Galaxy and Blinking Lights & Other Revelations.

For a couple of extra quid, the DVD edition is also recommended, which features footage of the album being recorded in what looks like E's front room!
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on 21 June 2009
Hombre Lobo is the seventh studio album from the Eels. It arrives in the wake of a B sides compilation and the Live in the Town Hall with Strings releases. The last studio album released was Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, which reached critical acclaim but left me wondering what on Earth was going on.

I am delighted with Hombre Lobo. It is absolutely the best Eels album I could have hoped for. E has put together a wonderful portfolio of melodies. There is a really strong sense of the journey that the Eels have been on, and influences have been drawn from all their recording experiences.

"The Look That You Gave That Guy" brings us the quiet Eels of the Beautiful Freak days, and "Beginners Luck" reminds me of the songs released for the Shrek soundtracks. "Lilac Breeze" is reminiscent of Shootenanny, and "The Longing" takes me back to the Electro Shock Blues, without depressing me too much. The Daisies of the Galaxy are represented by "My Timing is Off". "Tremendous Dynamite" is the hardest rocking song that I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy from the Eels. I can't stop listening to it on repeat. It is dirty rock at its best, and is the song that Souljacker wished it had on it.

That said, I feel that the progression in the Eels is also shown in this album. "Fresh Blood" is an excellent innovative track, which harnesses a slightly more electronic sound than we are used to, and has a simply electrifying 'chorus' which is best listened to as loud as you can bear it.

I can't recommend this strongly enough to Eels fans. It is simply quintessential Eels; you couldn't call yourself a fan if you didn't enjoy this.
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VINE VOICEon 31 May 2009
Bloodthirsty like a werewolf, desire hasn't been a topic that Mark Oliver Everett has shied away from over his fifteen years as an alternative-rock pioneer. Although his songwriting has always remained exposed and generous in honesty, never has a man sounded so out in the open as E does on this concept album on that very subject. It's difficult to fully gain awareness of the actual attitude E takes towards seducing sexy ladies, with the lyrical content varying between a desperate, lust-filled man and one so wounded that he can't continue. Nevertheless, throughout `Hombre Lobo', he manages to take your breath away.

Strictly speaking, this is a concept album, but you need not know that. Instead you could interpret this record as a truthful collection of Eels' most naked accounts on seeking love. A proverbial pendulum switches musically and personally between the obnoxious, edgy numbers ('Tremendous Dynamite') and the beautiful, damaged ballads ('The Longing'). Each track maintains the accessibility factor that comes with Eels, but the variety feels like something new, almost on a level of the diverse nature of `Souljacker' in 2001. It's in the words he sings that E truly excels. The most poignant moment of the aching account `The Longing' is the revelation "I think she knows, that when I say that I would die for her, it's not just words, I really would" and on the flipside of that, there's the dark, almost stalker-like account of the itch on `Fresh Blood', which suddenly opens up with the declarative "I'm more alone than I've ever been, help me out of this shape I'm in". Be it a concept album, be it E's words or not, those words still get to the very core of your thinking.

But at one point it does strike you that Everett might truly be a lonely man, not some playboy with a libido. His life has always been bleakly surrounded by death and loss. It's not the first time that as a songwriter, he's become so honest with his audience, but with that thought in the back of your head, it makes `Hombre Lobo' a unique and striking account. You might think you've heard the likes of `My Timing Is Off' and `All The Beautiful Things' before, each clasping to a traditional Eels formula of summertime blues, major chords and an uplifting atmosphere, but lurking inside is something not so commonplace, something momentous.
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on 11 June 2009
No matter what the medium, this mans creative output is always superb (lets ignore 'A Man Called E'). His writing, film making, recorded music and live performances are consistently mouldbreaking and unique. This is no exception.

From the opening howl it is a rollercoaster ride all the way to the introspective reflections and unfailing optimism of Ordinary Man. The best love songs are allways the sorrowful tales of unrequited love, and The Look You Gave That Guy is on par with Nick Caves' Brompton Oratory.

The album rocks out and ambles along in equal measure. True to his style and a step forward also. I can't imagine a lover of good music being disappointed with this record.

The last words of the last song are 'I'm No Ordinary Man'. What's not to like about Mark Oliver Everett? Man Wolf Indeed!
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on 29 May 2009
Just been listening to this album over the last few days, streamed from the Eels Myspace page, and must say that E has done it again! Once more, another five star album! Most like Souljacker in its mix of rocking and melodic tracks - all excellent from start to finish.
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on 3 June 2009
E has certainly come back with an absolute amazing album. Eels first studio album since 2005's 'Blinking Lights And Other Revelations' sees a return to issues ranging from love, loss, suffering.. but with an over-riding feeling of hope: this album is upbeat even at its most haunting. Since 'Blinking Lights' we have seen the release of... The Best Of... B-Sides and Live Offerings... yet throughout this time I have been craving a new studio album and it has finally arrived in the form of 'Hombre Lobo'. Recorded @ E's studio with old time collaborator Koool G Murder (from the SoulJacker days) and 'Knuckles' (drums and percussion).

The 12 track studio album is as follows:

1. Prizefighter
2. That Look You Give That Guy
3. Lilac Breeze
4. In My Dreams
5. Tremendous Dynamite
6. The Longing
7. Fresh Blood
8. What's A Fella Gotta Do
9. My Timing Is Off
10. All The Beautiful Things
11. Beginner's Luck
12. Ordinary Man

Let me get straight to the point here: all 12 tracks are fantastic. Think Souljacker/ Electro Shock Blues mixed in with Daisies of the Galaxy... I have followed E throughout his career from 'A Man Called E' to this latest offering and man he never fails to amaze.

Songs on this record range from the incredibly haunting 'the longing' to the chilled out 'that look you give that guy' to the head-banging 'fresh blood' and 'prizefighter'. The great thing about this album is that if I were to recommend an Eels album to a new listener of the band I think I may well choose this album. To hardcore Eels fans you may raise an eye here, I mean everyone of their studio albums is an absolute classic, but Hombre Lobo has truly captured an essence of everyone of their albums. E clearly continues to work through life-issues and continues to present the listener with breathtaking music.

This is a must have folks. Buy this album!
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No fuss or frills on Mr Everett and his merry minstrels'
new release 'Hombre Lobo'.
The simple formula is a highly effective one.
A shining example of less sometimes being more.

He has an ear for a good tune, no doubt about that
and there are twelve of them here.
The best of the bunch are genuinely affecting.
Mr Everett has a true melancholic's understanding
of the value of pathos and understatement.
'In My Dreams' and 'The Longing' are both exquisite examples
of his fragile art. Love and loss balanced on a knife edge.

'Lilac Breeze' and 'Fresh Blood' provide a rough-edged rocking
counterpoint to the album's largely reflective and downbeat mood.
There is a howling wolf loose in the latter ( one of my American
cousins perhaps ? ) stalking through an effectively realised
B-movie landscape.

'All The Beautiful Things' is a whimsically perfect little gem of a song.

Top marks, however, go to 'The Look You Give That Guy' a
composition which manages to articulate a moment of lost
opportunity as well as any described before him by Randy Newman
and 'Ordinary Man', a simple and touching song which brings
the album to a sad but emotionally satisfying conclusion.

Mr Murder (nee Logsdon) and Mr Knuckles (nee Brown) provide their
leader with economical but very strong musical support throughout.

A canny, well-constructed and perfectly paced little album. I loved it.

Recommended.
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on 22 June 2009
Other reviewers have nailed this one far more eloquently that I could, so I'll keep this short. It's absolutely brilliant.

I genuinely dread the time when this man decides to stop making albums.
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on 1 February 2010
Up to Eels usual high standard but End Times' transcendent gloom surpasses it. Cheer up Mark (tho not too much), we love you.
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on 3 October 2009
After 6 unique and wonderful studio albums, a b-side compilation and a few live albums, it seemed impossible that Mark Oliver Everett could actually have more to give. Turns out on his 7th studio album with the eels, he has alot more to give. To put it simply, Hombre Lobo is it's own little masterpiece. There are 12 breathtaking songs here, that have barely left my headphones since the disc's release. What makes this album so wonderful is just how versatile it is. Over the years, E has shown us just how versatile he is, from the delicate melodies of Electro-shock blues, to the stomping, awesome dirty-rock tunes of Souljacker. His sound has never stopped developing: for every distorted guitar riff and churning grate, there is a string quartet and an orchestra. And this album represents these stages. It has the beautiful, haunting melodies ('In My Dreams'), the dirty, heavy rock songs ('Tremendous Dynamite') and a few up-beat sing-along songs ('Prizefighter').

The lyrics written by E are, as always, top notch. They range from brutal honesty to dark humor and irony, as told by a fictional character, the 'Hombre Lobo' or wolf-man, who to many is believed to be E himself. 'Hombre Lobo' is desperate, lonely man, desperate for love, acknowledgement or just human contact. Through the album, he goes through the frustration ('what's a fella gotta do?'), the lust ('fresh blood') and the quiet lonely desperation ('ordinary man'). Over the course of the album, a vivid picture is painted of an incredibly human man, one we sypathise, and at times, empathise with.

But Hombre Lobo never feels bad for himself. The gray truth never feels like moaning, and there is an odd sense of optimism. With E, there is always a brighter side to things, and humour to be found in total darkness.
This is simply one of the best ever albums written about unrequited love, lonliness and how it feels to be an out-sider. An absolute must for Eels fans, a good starting point for people un-familiar with Eels, and highly reccomended for anyone who wants to hear something unique and beautiful.
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