The music of Mark Oliver Everett -- aka E, best known as the only permanent member of Eels -- has remained more or less unchanged for about three decades now. Sure, he has singer-songwriter mode (his default setting), weirdo pop mode, 'rock' mode (NOT GOOD), and even Shrek mode, but it's all splitting hairs around the same mopey, lovesick smart-ass. The only thing that's really changed about his music has been its quality, which has taken a significant downturn over the past 15 years or so.
His debut album, A Man Called E finds him in full-blown pop-rock singer-songwriter mode, and it's often more effortless, thoughtful, and mature -- not to mention concise -- than anything he'd put out as Eels. Due to having first heard them as a stoned sadsack teenager, I'll always have a very special place in my heart for Beautiful Freak and Electro-Shock Blues, but as a content but anxious adult, A Man Called E is my favorite thing dude's ever done.
1. Hello Cruel World
2. Fitting In with the Misfits
3. Are You & Me Gonna Happen
4. Looking Out the Window with a Blue Hat On
6. Symphony for Toy Piano in G Minor
7. Mockingbird Franklin
8. I've Been Kicked Around
10. E's Tune
11. You'll Be the Scarecrow
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