Sep 06, 2010 Web Exclusive
It has certainly been a prolific three years for Eels’ Mark Oliver Everett. His moving autobiography Things the Grandchildren Should Know was published in 2007, while the award-winning documentary Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives saw Everett explore the life of his renowned quantum physicist father Hugh Everett III.
Tomorrow Morning is his ninth studio album, the final part of a trilogy begun with Hombre Loco and End Times. “The three albums were all meant to be part of a whole,” says Everett in the press release, “I wanted them to come out close to each other.” The trilogy moves from desire and longing to emotionally raw break-up to arrive finally at what Everett calls “the redemption, a new beginning.” Just as the themes develop across the three works, so too does the aesthetic. With a soundscape fuller and busier than previous Eels records, Tomorrow Morning’s electronic keyboards, drum machines, tape loops and found sounds recall Beck at his crackling best. It’s an unabashedly joyous album, saved from gloopy schmaltz by Everett’s tongue-in-cheek humor. “Record company hates me” he sings on “Baby Loves Me,” “Doctor says I’m sick/The bad girls think I’m just too nice/The good girls call me dick.” Other standout tracks include the back-slapping of “The Man” and the piano-led soul clapping of “Looking Up”.
While the album feels a little overlong (even at 46 minutes) and lacks—understandably—the rawness of Hombre Loco or End Times, it’s a warm, uplifting work. (www.eelstheband.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 7/10