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The artist mostly known as E has been missing for what seems like longer than usual, after that spurt of creativity earlier this decade, where the three-albums-in-a-year relationship arc of Hombre Lobo, End Times, and Tomorrow Morning might have stretched the friendship a bit. For E, while always happy to work out what’s going on in his heart and psyche, the focus down to a single heartache perhaps made it blur into a slightly one note exercise in pulling the wings off a butterfly.
So, suitably refreshed, Wonderful, Glorious is a more typical Eels outing, as E himself looks outward as well as inward. As regular users may have guessed, there may be some irony in the title.
Opening call to arms Bombs Away is blueprint Eels. Buzzing guitars and occasional chimes fizz away under E’s slightly menacing whisper, announcing he’s not taking the shit no more. He may have made this claim before. As ever, he’s apparently sincere in intent. Elsewhere, he’s beat but not quite done: On The Ropes is a self-explanatory title, as he quietly reflects and ponders, but drags himself back to the piano stool – like you know he has to. This of course leads to The Turnaround, where ‘the first step is out the door’. The cynical romantic (romantic cynic, either/or) can still find objects of affection. She’s variously a True Original and the rattle of Peach Blossom – although the latter’s “I’m not gonna let this one get away” might be a bit of a worry.
Wonderful, Glorious is Eels with wit, intelligence, darkness, personal issues – and indeed, wonder – intact. That can be no bad thing.
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