Eels, "Wonderful, Glorious" (Vagrant Records)
Fans of the Eels will be surprised to know that the band's frontman, Mark "E" Everett, seems to have been lifted from his melancholy -- a sentiment that has inspired the band's previous material. Even the title of the Eels' 10th record, "Wonderful, Glorious," oozes optimism. The album's opener exudes funk and sex appeal, thanks to E's unique vocals. The song "Peach Blossom" is melodically interesting, with a pounding, rhythmical drum and angry guitar.
"On the Ropes" does hark back to the indie rockers' original sad sound with lyrics like: "I'm not knocked out, but I'm on the ropes." It's reminiscent of moments on the band's "Electro-Shock Blues" (1998) and "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations" (2005) albums. While "Wonderful, Glorious" is interesting and good, it doesn't match up to the Eels' previous work. We prefer E's tortured soul.