It ain't easy being cheesy....
It ain’t easy being cheesy. In the self-obsessed world of rock’n’roll, kudos is a priceless commodity. But blighted by the sudden, unrepeatable success of their debut album, ‘Beautiful Freak’, [a]Eels[/a] were immediately robbed of that earnest, wholegrain, indie-schmindie worthiness that has seen many a lesser talent thrive around these parts.
But so what? The period following that cheese-laden, international smash has seen them embark upon a period of incredible artistic success. ‘Electro-Shock Blues’, ’98’s harrowing and poignant study of the suicide of singer-songwriter E’s sister and the death of his father, would have been the defining moment of a doomed career were it not for the fact that ‘Daisies Of The Galaxy’ eclipses even that moment of brilliance.
Like its predecessor, ‘Daisies…’ mixes humour and humility, hope and fear, and stands as quiet testimony to one of modern music’s most gifted writers. E’s stylistic vision embraces a multiplicity of forms, from the deft orchestral stabs that open up the self-deprecating parable, ‘Grace Kelly Blues’, to the tendrils of melody that weave their way through the power-pop of ‘Tiger In My Tank’ and the dreamlike ‘Jeannie’s Diary’.
. He is racking his brains, reaching for one defining conscious memory of his mum that will compensate for her death. It doesn’t come; it won’t come. Time to leave that love behind and carry on.
The stellar [I]NME[/I] Single Of The Week, ‘Mr E’s Beautiful Blues’, is casually dumped as a hidden track right at the end and thus ‘Daisies Of The Galaxy’ peters out. Only in such illustrious company could the song fail to shine. For here is an album that, in its wit, humility and calmness in the face of a firing squad of terrors, justifies the existence of pop albums. In almost every respect a masterpiece.