Eels have just released their eleventh full-length album called The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, through E Works Records. Now, you can stream the entire album above.
The album is a slow paced, mellow affair. Percussion is either soft or non-existent depending on the song. Eels mastermind, the titular Mark Oliver Everett, plays the acoustic guitar with delicate Donovan-esque plucking. Donovan taught John Lennon how to play the guitar that way. It's no coincidence that Everett uses this guitar style on the album since he cites the Beatle as the album's primary inspiration. In a press release on the Eels official website, Everett talks about the impact that Lennon's Plastic Ono Band had on him, which is the same impact he wants The Cautionary Tales to have on his fans:
"When I was 10 years old my favorite album was Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon. The way he cut right through to the brutal truth really resonated with me. This is all his fault. I blame John Lennon. It wasn't an easy process, and I wouldn't want to go through it again. But I'm glad I did. I'm a better person for it, and I hope others can gain some perspective or awareness from and maybe even apply it to their own lives. Maybe it could even start the process for some. Or at least make the process a little easier for them. To know they're not alone."
The album starts off with the instrumental "Where I'm At," which serves as the album's overture. That segment is reprised with vocals to close the album out, this time titled "Where I'm Going." The second song, "Parallels," has Everett singing a melody similar to James Taylor's "Fire and Rain." The song sets the theme of loss with Everett singing, "And I know you're out there somewhere and I know that you are well / Looking for an answer, but only time will tell."
"A Series of Misunderstandings" features an eerie toy piano that bring The Nutcracker's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" to mind. It's an ominous waltz with Everett singing in falsetto over ghostly backing vocals. "Dead Reckoning" has a baroque feel with a bassoon that's accompanied by an arpeggiated harpsichord, sounding like The Beatles' "Because."
At the heart of the album is the highlight "Where I'm From," which continues a similar theme to the album's bookending tracks, but with entirely different instrumentation. Everett describes his move from Virginia to California, singing on the chorus, "Ran far away, but I have to admit / Sometimes I miss where I’m from.” The song sounds like a nostalgic dream, with gentle guitar plucking and lightly brushed drums. Stream the entire album above.
You can now buy the album on Amazon.
For more information on the band, check out the Eels official website.