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Beautiful Freak

Eels

1996

Beautiful Freak

Album Summary

Beautiful Freak is the debut album by American rock band Eels. It was released on 13 August 1996 and is the first album released by record label DreamWorks.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.32

Votes

5792

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
Reviews
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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

This album suprised me. I almost didn't expect to like it given the god-awful album art, but I can't judge a book by it's cover. This album is musically rich and intriguing. Right off the bat I got flaming lips vibes, which is good because I love the flaming lips. The artsy-grunge type songs were great, but I wish there were more jazzy songs like "Susans House" with its spoken word sections and beautiful piano and bass instrumentation. Sometimes the lyrics were a bit edgy, but not in the cool "rage againts the machine" way, but in the cringy "middle school kid that was bullied for wearing an anime t-shirt" kind of way. The lyrics make me think of someone who heard Radiohead's "Creep" and was like "damn, I could make a whole album like this". These lyrics seem like they'd be memorized by Jared Leto's Joker. Even so, this album had some beautiful and freaky baroque-grung songs that really impressed me, especially in the last half of the album. I'll definitely be listening to it again. Favorite track: Guest List - although this is tied with "Mental", purely for the amazing synth solo at the end. - Least Favorite: Rags to Rags

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Sat Sep 18 2021
4

It's got the Shrek song on it, extra star.

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Mon Nov 09 2020
5

Eclectic alt-rock at it's finest. Thought provoking lyrics and surprising instrumentation. Each song, unique in their own right, blends together forming a flowing soundscape through the project. Stand-Outs: Susan's House (interestingly crafted piece; the sample from Gladys Knight works so well), My Beloved Monster, Flower (country vibes with angelic background vocals), Manchild.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

wow i really loved that maybe it’s just late and my heads a little fucky but that really felt like a magical experience listening to that such beautiful, unique, diverse compositions with every track like every time a song would be near the end I would get very excited wondering what fun surprise I would get next he often mixed together genres that shouldn’t work but HOLY SHIT do they work well i’ll give it a 9/10, it’s almost perfect, I have two minor complaints: firstly his vocals aren’t very diverse, I don’t hate his voice but I don’t necessarily love it, he regularly uses effects to spice it up and compensate for the lack of diversity but still i’d like a little more effort from his voice I guess and second isn’t really a flaw, more just preference but the rock genre isn’t really my favorite, it’s not bad but it’s not really something i like listening to normally still this is such a great album, i’m very glad I listened to this, such amazing song writing and surreal story telling with the lyrics, just awesome I’ll definitely be looking into more of Eels’ discography

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Thu Jan 28 2021
3

Probably the most modern-sounding album we've heard so far. I like the style, a bit jazzy, a bit indie rock. And the band is American, there's a change of pace! Altogether though, it isn't very engaging. Background music in a good way, but still background music for me. ALSO, I must note that there is a sound of children cheering on "Susan's House" that is 100% without a doubt the same sample used for the Grunt birthday party sound effect in Halo. Favorite tracks: Susan's House, Spunky, Manchild Album art: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH 3/5

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Tue Mar 09 2021
5

prachtig album

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Sat Dec 25 2021
5

I was too busy listening to Leonard Cohen in 1996 that I never gave this album a proper listen, but was excited to explore it. I came into the Eels late, being introduced through the song, "I like the way this is going" a few years ago and then digging into some of their older stuff (but not this album). I loved that song for it's tentative and nervous sweetness, a feeling that carries through so much of their work. I'm sure that "Beautiful Freak" was the song that I had always wanted a boy to sing to me in 1996. I love the juxtaposition of the sweet & gloomy moments with the angsty moments on this album. I love the grainy quality of the vocals on "Not Ready Yet." I haven't had such unprepared delight ever in a song as when the harmonicas came on in "Guest List." I think that this band stands out for its unique mix of grunge and emo that gives them a unique sense of vulnerability. Plus, I want a cat named Lolita with a violent past and their use of "mint chocolate chip ice cream" was brilliant. What a great listen.

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Mon Aug 16 2021
2

First listen to anything by Eels. I'm not sure that I liked this one. The lyrics are pained, but musically there is very little catharsis, and the vocal delivery is often overwrought in its expression of self-pity. It's a sad little wilting flower of an album, and on first pass it didn't do much for me. There were a few songs where it came together, namely the saccharine "My Beloved Monster," the withering "Manchild," and lone rocker "Mental."

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Thu Jul 08 2021
1

Nothing wrong with this record, it a decent indie offering but is it 1001 essential album list material -- most definitely not, I have heard albums that I hated on this list whose placement I can definitely justify but this is probably the first one for which I cant do that. 1/5

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Sat Apr 17 2021
1

The album cover sums it up - wide eyed & legless. Not my kind of music

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

This was an absolutely beautiful album! First time listening, but it’s gonna be my go-to-album this whole weekend

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Reminded me of Radiohead

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

gorgeous i really like

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Absolutely loved it

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Happy!

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

Great, unique style. I had not heard this album fully, and it is great

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Que buen disco. Muy fino

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Fri May 21 2021
5

I love this album, the lyrics, the music, the Gladys knight sample on 'susan's house', the distorted riff on 'not ready yet', all of it

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

First time listening to an Eels album front to back. I liked it a lot! Great flow, great overall production. Thumbs up!

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Tue Jul 20 2021
5

I love this album. Beautiful melodies and lyrics to match.

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Sun Aug 01 2021
5

Unusual and beautiful. Plenty more albums to discover.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

Если вы думаете, что ни разу не слышали эту группу, то вы ошибаетесь: их песни звучали в первых трех частях Шрека. Но ни в этом их главная заслуга. Уже на данном дебюте 1996-го года Eels показали как должен звучать альтернативный рок. Песни разнообразны и держат ваше внимание на протяжении всего альбома. Звучание опередило свое время и при слепом прослушивании будет сложно понять в каком году выпущен альбом. Рекомендую всем поклонникам The Smashing Pumpkins и The Flaming Lips

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

Great album like it👍

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

smart, artsy, and enjoyable back to front.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

Fucking brilliant

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

Not listened to this in years. Still as haunting, melancholy, and beautiful as it ever was.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

che je voi di'

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

Muy indie noventero. Además, como me gusta bastante la portada, le pongo un 5.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

Great album. I listened to it multiple times that day.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

Eels are a band I often forget about and then I remember them and I say "how come this isn't my favorite band?" I like Hombre Lobo and End Times both more than this, but this is still such a GREAT album.

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Sat Dec 25 2021
5

I have liked eels since Novocaine for the Soul - I had the single on cassette. I love the off kilter ness, the humour and the depths of misery it plumbs, without ever being po faced. And they're all singable pop songs too. Their first 3 or 4 albums are all essential imho.

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

Wow, never heard of this guys, but after a couple of listens, I'm hooked. Beautiful and quirky songwriting, I'm going to download and dive into the whole catalog!

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

Eel man

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Love this album. Great at the time and still sounds great.

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

Classic Eels here, with the lovely "Novocaine For The Soul." opening. So reminiscent of REM (No Pun Intended) this is a delightful, funny, scary and intriguing album. I want it on Vinyl Now! Highlights "Susans House" which is Velvety if you know what I mean. "Rags to Rags" another glorious eant from E himself. Love it all, rightfully in this list for all the right reasons!

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

omg love

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

A+ stand out tracks: -Novocaine For The Soul -Susan's House -Beautiful Freak -Mental -Spunky (one of my favorite, lyrically) -Manchild (loved the instrumentals)

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

Este disco me costó conseguirlo. Sonaba mucho en Radio3 pero en las tiendas habituales no lo tenían. Un disco que desde el principio enamora y suena diferente. Años después leyendo el libro de Mr. E le cogí aún más cariño al este trabajo. Libro por cierto 100% recomendable: "Cosas que los nietos deberían saber" de Oliver Everett, Mark. ► Imprescindibles: "Novocaine for the Soul", "Susan's House", "Rags to Rags", "Beautiful Freak", "My Beloved Monster", "Flower", "Guest List" y para terminar "Your Lucky Day in Hell".

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

It is really important to kick off an album strongly, and Beautiful Freak understands this very well. From the very first second I am totally hooked! This is exactly what I expect from a pop record: quirky, versatile, surprising, filled with twists and turns, off-kilter. I had heard the following album to this one and the first thing that came to my mind was Beck; but when was that a bad thing? Also, I am reading that Mark Oliver Everett (the brain behind Eels) is from Virginia, USA, while I was convinced that he/they were British. They somehow sound British though, think of bands like Super Furry Animals or Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. No surprise then that opening track Novocaine For The Soul was a hit in UK).  Track 2 features an upright bass while Mr E walks us over Susan's House all while taking a heartbreaking polaroid of a cruel, everyday suburban reality (There's a crazy old woman smashing bottles on the side walk/where her house burnt two years ago/people says that back then she really wasn't that crazy... Here comes a girl with long brown hair who can't be more than 17/she sucks on a red popsicle while she pushes a baby girl in a pink carriage/and I'm thinking that must be her sister, right?).  Yup. I too have seen things while going over to Susan's house.  The title track brings together Beach Boys arrangements, accordions, a spooky piano coda, and a lament about loving people when they are "different".  My Beloved Monster instead is about that (beautiful) freak we all carry inside, begins with a banjo, that is soon left aside and adds some noisy flourishes.  Flower is a nice update on American folk with a processed choir that points out at how we get slapped since day one and so on forever and ever.  I really don't know weather someone else has ever sung the words "this could be your lucky day in hell" over such moving, lush melodies, and then go back to some distorted parts with such nonchalant elegance, but it works brilliantly.  I wish I had more than 24 hours to spend with this album and write more about it, but I guess that is part of the challenge. Without any doubt, another essential that I surely need to add to my collection. On to the next one, but, hey, Beautiful Freak, see you soon, I hope. 

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Thu Mar 24 2022
5

Löytyy tämäkin hyllystä. Ehdottomasti 5*

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Sun Apr 17 2022
5

Tuttu bändi aikojen takaa. Beatiful Freak ei itselleni koskaan ollut se läheisin tai tärkein Eels-levy, jota ihmettelenkin suuresti nyt jälkikäteen. Tämä levy nimittäin on juuri sitä rauhallista Eelsiä jota olen aina arvostanut. Mark Oliver Everettin kitarointi on soundiltaan jumalaista. Levyltä ei löydy suuria huteja. Hittejä sen sijaan enemmänkin. 4,5 joka nousee ylöspäin.

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Wed May 18 2022
5

I enjoyed this so much, I listened to it again immediately after my first play. Lyrically & melodically unique and adventurous. Totally enjoyed it, and have added this and two additional Eels albums (so far).

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Mon Jun 13 2022
5

What a cracking album. Not a bad track on it.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

Great album. Wonderful production. The opener is a (25 year old) modern classic.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

Perfect 90s indie pop album

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Unique, funky and grungy and emo. Loved all but a couple tracks!

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

In 1996 I heard Novocaine For The Soul and hurried that afternoon to my local record store to listen, and buy, the album. The album with its weird cover, parental advisory sticker and emotional, quirky indie-rock music became one of my most loved albums of that year. And it has not lost any of its power over the years. The clever lyrics, the many beautiful tributes to his mentally ill sister, the wide array of techniques, samples, instrumentation and inspired production makes 'Beautiful Freak' one of the most interesting, and at times haunting, debut albums I've heard in my life. The songs go between samply dreamy to guitar grungy and the tracklist makes it you're never bored by alternating between styles throughout. And to think that this the prelude to Electro-Shock Blues, which might be even a better album.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

This album to represents the 90’s perfectly.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

4.5/5 pretty fucking goooooooooood

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Thu Oct 20 2022
5

It’s the Eels so of course I love it

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

TBz 1. Novocaine For The Soul 2. Your Lucky Day In Hell 3. Guest List 4. Not Ready Yet 5. Mental I can keep going with top bangerz. I immediately connected with this album. It’s beautiful, dark at times, and deep. Solid 5!

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

очень очень хорошо!!! есть немного/много от нирваны, но в более чилловом режиме и еще реденько, местами марс вольта теперь один из любимых

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

Love this album, I used to listen to it a lot when I first got my car. I have great memories of it, but I'm drawing a blank at some of the titles on the second half. Looking forward to giving it another listen! Listening back to this, it's about as flawless as I remember. Love "Novocaine For the Soul", the piano and hip hop influences on "Susan's House", and the weird bee-guitar solo on "My Beloved Monster". Very weird and innovative, and that's just the big singles! Of the titles I didn't recognize, I knew them all and remembered most of the lyrics even. I love the melancholy and the weird humor on these tracks. Great bassline on "Your Lucky Day in Hell" too.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
5

I went into this one cold. I may have heard something from it before, but I don’t think so. Really appreciated what felt like experimentation and creativity with restraint — every song had a spine of some sort. A hook/refrain/chorus that you were excited for it to get back to. Felt like someone with a degree in musical theory, but I say that as someone with nothing close to a degree in musical theory.m Also enjoyed that the lyrics had something to say, the use of spoken word, degree to which a lot of it seemed to be a subversion of something that initially seemed positive, etc.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

Incredible album. I had heard novocaine in the 90s and liked it, but never bought the album. I wish I had. The whole thing comes together in thoughtful and unusual ways. Great songs and song variety.

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Wed Dec 21 2022
5

Was my fourth or fifth favourite Eels album... but better than I remember it being

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

Eels är mysigt!

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Sat Jan 07 2023
5

This ticks all of my alternative boxes. Mr Es autobiography is particularly good too.

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Mon Dec 14 2020
4

Best: Rags to Rags & Mental

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Sat Jul 17 2021
4

This album is so mid to late 90s, it evokes images of puka shell necklaces and frosted tips. Pretty good anyway. Best track: Novocaine for the Soul

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Mon Dec 14 2020
4

Very nice feeling

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Mon Jan 11 2021
4

Dang this sounds nice, the sound is pretty smooth. Like what i've heard of them prior anyway, daisies and the 2020 one but yeah this is nice, tempted to check out more at some point, good album :)

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Life is hard and so am I Life is white and I am black

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Fri May 14 2021
4

I knew I needed to wait until I felt like listening. This was actually really good lol, Idk why it took me many months to finally make it all the way through. Probably started it like 8-9 times and turned it off because I just wasn't pulled in. Shoutout to that one song that's in Shrek lmao. Overall nice sound with varying beats and tones that still connect throughout.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Interesting

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

A great record that I will happily listen to any time. Fairly simple songs structures, but well executed, with clever use of samples and some interesting instrument choices. Nice melodies and hooks, and I really like Mark Everett's distinctive vocals. Some of the lyrics can come across a bit patronising / condescending, but not enough to put me off listening.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

Eels are one of those bands that so many people haven't heard of that have such a wide range of potential appeal. Smoky and passionate, Eels really feel unique. This isn't even their best-- hoping for Electro-Shock Blues and Daisies soon!

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Heard the name but never really taken any notice of Eels before - I guess they got lost in the rest of 90s alternative rock. However really enjoyed this. Liked Everett's lyrics and voice.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

I really liked this album. I'm not sure I really knew anything about Eels beforehand so it was a pleasant surprise!

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Liked it a lot.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

So many familiar songs so good

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

Production: 12/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 13/20 Bangers: 15/20 Emotional response: 14/20 =69 Very strong. Good lads.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

really liked this. liked the lyrics and how it all sounded a bit sad. creepy cool cover.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

“Sometimes it feels like I’m made of eggshells...and I’m gonna crack”. This is one of my favorite albums of the mid 90s. My wife and I when were dating used to sit in my room and listen to this album while staring at the ceiling like some silly episode of “My so called life”. This is the perfect Gen X/Elder Millennial album. It wallows in its angst and I love it.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

This album hits! I really enjoyed it! It definitely has some tracks that will become part of my regular rotation.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Was good. I don’t know why I haven’t dropped the needle on it sooner. But the songs were memorable 90s bedroom pop/

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Not bad!

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

I like the sound of this group and this album in spite of the creepy album cover. Added Eeels to my Spotify library.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Very nice. I like the Eels but haven’t delved too deeply into their catalog.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

Enjoyable

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

The album has a vibe and an emotion throughout which is so real to me. I can feel this album. Very unique sounding and enjoyable, with a good run time.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

This album certainly has a lot of personality and it was a fun listen. Great opening few tracks. All in all some majestic keyboard riffs accompanied by rather avant garde lyrics. I Listened again on Sunday night and the album only got better on the second pressing (unlike olive oil)

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Decent for 90's Alt rock I've never heard before.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

I have a thing for artists that make me say "You must be quite fucked up to write this stuff" . Nova and Susan's House fit perfectly. I really like how the dreamy almost fantasy like music camouflages the angst. Think of a suicidal Mr. Rogers. The Guitar sound on Rags2R,  Not Ready and Mental is quite amazing. Not sure if this shows producer rather than guitarist  talent. Anyone notice the words “Winston Churchill in drag” on Your Lucky Day in Hell. The brother must be a fan of Supper’s Ready and P. Gabriel.

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

Nummers met veel emotie en een unieke, herkenbare sound.

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

Cool album, adding to the library. Enjoyed a unique sound and interesting lyrics

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

En album dat met zorg en emotie is samengesteld

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Sounds a lot like Radiohead

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

I liked this one, had some great songs. Will definitely give it another listen

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

Een leuke variatie in de nummers van dit album

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Tue Mar 02 2021
4

Love it!

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Surprised me

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Sat Jun 19 2021
4

Um álbum que inicialmente soou muito a Shrek, até que chegou o My Beloved Monster e ai era demasiado parecido, uma breve pesquisa permitiu apurar que a música entrou no primeiro filme do nosso ogre verde favorito. O Álbum com esta comparação só lucra, é um elogio. Curioso e agradável no geral. Nota: 7/10

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

Liked this! Some good pop throughout and a few trippy songs.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

Pretty good album! After I finished listening, Spotify started shuffling other Eels songs, almost all of them I liked more than this album. Overall, glad to get to know Eels better than I did previously.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Nostalgic 90s

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Tue May 25 2021
4

Susan's house was a great song. I enjoyed the album. I thought there was good emotion in the lyrics and also the composition felt complex. Nice to my ears

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Loved Susan's house

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Sat May 15 2021
4

A solid album. After the first listen, I enjoyed the first song but overall felt the album was unremarkable. Listened to it again on a whim and it really got a lot better. Some nice, unique songs

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Pretty good, 90s alternative. 4

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