Album review: Eels' 'Tomorrow Morning'

(Courtesy Of Eels - Courtesy Of Eels)
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Friday, September 24, 2010

EELS

"Tomorrow Morning"

Kindred spirits: Beck, Weezer

Show: With Jesca Hoop on Sunday at the 9:30 Club. Doors open at 7 p.m. 202-265-0930. http://www.930.com. $25.

Listening to the Eels' Mark Oliver Everett's richly textured and unfailingly fascinating "Tomorrow Morning" brings to mind the title of Ernest Hemingway's classic "The Sun Also Rises."

Although there is plenty of sorrow and despair in the world that Everett chronicled in brooding past works, "Tomorrow Morning" is all about positive new beginnings.

Consider lyrics from "Baby Loves Me" -- "The neighbor don't like my flowers/The waiter don't like my tip/The librarian shushes me/Travel agent cancelled my trip," which is then followed by the chorus "My baby loves me/She's smarter than you/My baby loves me/Unlikely but true."

The lyrics are clever, fun, witty and somehow familiar. They are made even more so by the musical layering filled with synthesizers and expressive vocals that go from almost shouting to fuzzy softness.

One standout track is "Tomorrow Morning," which is as intricately woven as a finely crocheted afghan with strands so intertwined it's almost impossible not to think of them as a whole. The result is so exciting and vibrant, one can only marvel at the cleverness of its creator.

Of course, this type of masterwork is nothing new for Everett. Consider the first two CDs in what he said was a musical trilogy ending with "Tomorrow Morning": "Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire" and "End Times." Although the topics were more sorrowful, their craftsmanship was as beautifully woven as the last piece.

-- Nancy Dunham


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