MUSIC REVIEWS: The Eels and MGMT
If you’re an Eels fan, you probably own the majority of the songs on this CD. However, if you stopped paying attention to the Eels after 1996’s “Novocaine For the Soul” and want to expand your Eels repertoire, this is certainly a pleasant introduction.
On this disc are songs plucked from the expansive last decade of Eels material. Standouts include “Fresh Feelin’,” whose intro consists of the main beat with an off-key symphonic warm-up, flowing regally into the stringed melody, while “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues” paradoxical lyrics proclaim, “Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day.” There are also two previously unreleased songs, “Climbing to the Moon,” and a whimsical Missy Elliott cover, “Get Ur Freak On.”
A definite plus to the CD is the DVD that accompanies it. Chock full of quirky, original videos, you’ll definitely want to check out “Last Stop: This Town” and witness a carrot’s amusing transformation into a miniature human robot.
“Time to Pretend” was clearly the right choice for a leadoff single from MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. However, that is not meant to insult the rest of the album. When the album isn’t elevating the listener to their feet, it’s open and echo-ey classic rock feel is far better at calming the listener than anything else. Beyond “Time to Pretend,” stand-out songs include “Of Moons, Birds and Monsters” (proving that lyrics, such as “even a bird would taste dirt,” don’t need to make much sense to be fun), “Electric Feel” (bringing back the 70’s club vibe for those who weren’t quite yet born) and “Kids” (where synthesizers make for a grand ‘ole time). The album is recommended for anyone looking back to nostalgia when music was allowed to be fun without being groundbreaking.
—Tania Katherine Dworjan