Review: EELS – Wonderful, Glorious

 
 

Wonderful, Glorious is EELS tenth studio album and sees the band’s main creative force, Mark Oliver Everett, producing some of his most visceral and defiant work to date.

Building upon the cautious optimistic sound of 2010’s album, Tomorrow Morning, with belters like ‘Kinda Fuzzy’ and ‘New Alphabet’, Wonderful, Glorious contains the creative mix of raw EEL talent, sadly tainted with a slight degree of boredom, emerging with the realisation that there is upwards of ten similar tracks on the album.

The adeptness at which Everett infected self-assured rock with his own debilitating self-loathing must be commended. However, despite Everett’s claim on the opening track, ‘Bombs Away’, that he is “tired of being complacent,” this assertion is ironically lost in the growly vocals and hazy production of the album. Nonetheless, certain tracks do provide moments of solace from the album’s far too frequent lack lustre sound.  The stellar song, ‘I Am Building A Shrine’, offers some hope in terms of the band’s future.

The forced growly vocals seem to distract from the failing of vocal ability at times. Indeed Everett appears to be more comfortable on slower melancholic tracks like ‘On the Ropes’. The album’s sound is charming yet the sheer lack of variety becomes grating as Wonderful, Glorious progresses. The listener finds themselves almost growling back at Everett, pleading for some sonic variety.

In a Nutshell:
Brilliant and boring in almost equal measures. A lacklustre addition to any music snob’s iTunes

By Gary Norman

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