you think i got it all going my way, then why am i such a fucking mess?
in 1998, e and his band eels released electro-shock blues, one of the saddest and most devastating albums likely ever recorded. an album weighted down by unrelenting tragedy, it was a brutally honest reflection of a series of catastrophes--his father's death from a heart attack, his sister's suicide, and his mother's death from cancer--that suddenly left e as the last surviving member of his family. while the common man would turn to therapy, e turned to music, and a catharsis was recorded. the emotional tide begins at its lowest point ("my life is shit and piss" he sings from his sister's perspective in "elizabeth on the bathroom floor") and wallows in self-pity for the better part of eight songs ("yesterday was suckin' and tomorrow's lookin' bad, who knew today was the only thing i had?" in "hospital food"). but slowly the tide begins to rise, steadily and with purpose, before delivering two final knockout blows to sadness and depression ("see this watch she gave me? well it still ticks away" in "the medication is wearing off", and "i was thinkin' bout how everyone is dying, and maybe it's time to live" in "p.s. you rock my world"). it's a stunning conclusion to this intensely personal, unforgettably emotional story, that could likely only be penned by a man who has experienced it first-hand. and it's a big reason why electro-shock blues, despite its misery and heartache, is one of my all-time favorite albums.
eels : "3 speed"
from the lp electro-shock blues (dreamworks, 1998)