Eels sophomore release Electro-Shock Blues is an emotionally devastating record that manages to grow more poignant as its audience matures
Thanks to a reliance on off-kilter retro sounds and lo-fi instrumentation, Eels were often compared to Beck (and not always favorably). On their second album, 1998's Electro-Shock Blues, they utilized one of the producers who helped Beck transition from one-hit-wonder status with Loser to the layered mastery of 1996's Odelay. But instead of matching the mayhem, singer/multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett constructs a sixteen-track somber affair with a few noisy interludes delving into personal loss at a bone-chillingly intimate level. What struck us was the deliberate shift from their debut that produced the hit single "Novocaine For The Soul," and wondering if like many, the lyrical content was too heady to digest, needing the growth and loss of maturity to fully appreciate the depths that E is willing to explore.
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