E marks his divorce with another unflinchingly honest album
Eels’ last outing, Hombre Lobo, was a concept album centred on a werewolf. Having exposed so much of himself in the years previous, Mark ‘E’ Everett tried to shelter his personal life from the limelight. Just six months on, though, he’s stepped back into the glare. End Times is a break-up album which reverts to his trademark autobiographical style. Sometimes, like on Gone Man, E’s defiant – ready to face the world alone. Mostly, though, proceedings take a turn for the melancholic; and few do melancholy quite like this protagonist. Litanies for those long gone (I Need a Mother) are found amongst the lonely – but lovely – tales of heartache. E’s hermetic lifestyle is addressed on Little Bird, and album highlight A Line in the Dirt revisits the lush brass and ivory instrumentation of his Blinking Lights era. Although such lofty heights aren’t sustained throughout, End Times is a satisfying return to E’s beautiful blues, and it’s good to have him back.
Written for The Skinny