Eels, Daisies of the Galaxy (Dreamworks)
I’d love to review this properly but I’m not going to listen to it again.
The British Music press is a fickle creature. The Americans they choose to admire really baffle me. On one hand, Lambchop and Jonathan Fire*Eater are always well-received for good reason. On the other hand, the Eels and Fun Lovin Criminals garner great praise for dubious achievements.
This soporific effort by a Man Called E’s ‘band’ is not worth the ass-kissing dotmusic.com just gave them. It’s more alt-country than anything else critics may say. The horns and strings and everything else just sound like they’ve been heaped upon the soft acoustic songs that E wrote. his voice is suitably gravel-ly for the standout “It’s A Motherfucker” but on most of the tracks, his barritone is so up front that the music just doesn’t match and his slight melodies vary so little that it’s difficult to tell if you’re listening to a studio album or a man in a coffee shop playing acoustic guitar with a record playing in the background.
I do understand that an artist’s intention should factor into my review somewhat. After all, everything I’ve been critical of may just have been the exact thing E was going for. Unfortunately, I think adult contemporary music is boring as hell and the Eels, despite the praise from the English Music Press and CMJ, have gone and made just that.