Eels - The Deconstruction (Album Review)

Jacob Brookman 12 April 2018

The term ‘auteur’ is derived from cinema criticism, and describes a director whose personal vision can be seen in every part of their films; from script, to music, to set design, and so on.

Over the years, the term has been used to describe Eels singer-songwriter Mark Oliver Everett, and that is probably down to two factors: the hugely distinctive musical aesthetic the Eels present, and the cinematic nature of the work itself.src=

A good example of this balance on his new album, ‘The Deconstruction’, is Bone Dry, a track full of boomy ‘90s hip-hop drums, moody soundtrack strings and gloriously grim, desperate lyrics: “A little laugh, a crooked smile / Don't lift a finger while I lay dying [...] Bone dry / You drank all the blood.”

It is reminiscent of Eels’ 1996 album ‘Beautiful Freak’ and, like much of their catalogue, presents Everett’s gloomy worldview in a strangely neat package.

Elsewhere, In Our Cathedral and Premonition deal with death and loneliness in profoundly affecting terms. The latter is an acoustic guitar track that combines a distant spirituality alongside a kind of lo-fi bitterness: “The world can be a real mean place when no-one’s got your back.”

Everett has been afflicted by numerous traumas over the years - Eels’ 1998 LP ‘Electro-Shock Blues’ dealt with the death of his sister and his mother’s terminal lung cancer - but he often manages to convey the hopelessness of these situations with a kind of quixotic humour, and it’s as distinctive now as it was two decades ago.

But, while Eels have not stood still, there is a tonal consistency in their work that can jar. One of the drawbacks of being a musical auteur may be that it means honing a particular way of operating throughout a whole career. As such, anything that veers out of that space struggles: Today is the Day does so here, and Epiphany is another.

‘The Deconstruction’ may not reinvent Eels, but it demonstrates an amazing commitment to a particular sound, alongside occasionally fabulous songcraft. Everett’s is a remarkably distinctive voice, and long may it continue to ring out.

Eels Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon July 02 2018 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Tue July 03 2018 - MANCHESTER Academy
Wed July 04 2018 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Fri July 06 2018 - DUBLIN Iveagh Gardens

Click here to compare & buy Eels Tickets at


Other Eels stories

Eels Add Glasgow And Manchester Stops To Summer Tour Plans

Eels Plot Summer UK And European Tour Behind 'The Deconstruction'

Bananarama To Headline Feels Like Summer At Cardiff's Sophia Gardens

Eels Unveil Rusty Pipes Video

Eels Share Video For Bone Dry

Eels Unveil New Track Bone Dry


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