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Blinking Lights and Other Revelations

84 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 26, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A homemade epic, 'Blinking Lights'is an imaginative, emotional reflection on the condition of living, recorded mostly in Everett's Los Angeles basement over a period of several years. Sprawling over it's two discs are songs about faith, responsibility, growing up, dignity, disappointment, comfort, hope and renewal. It's the most personal eels album since 1998's Electro Shock Blues'. That album dealt with the nearly simultaneous suicide of Everett's sister and terminal illness of his mother, from the subjects' points of view. This album finds him a few years down the line, now battling some of the family demons himself, with the after effects of past tragedies becoming more of a personal issue in his adult life, sometimes fearlessly autobiographical, and other times built around the related stories of others. Vagrant. 2005.

Amazon.com

Blinking Lights and Other Revelations is a big, important record that's also devastatingly somber. Which, depending on how serious an Eels fan you are and the sturdiness of your psyche, can be taken as an endorsement or a warning. Shades of the band's superb sophomore effort, Electro-Shock Blues, recorded after the suicide of Everett's sister and the death of his father, show up here on such wounded tracks as "Checkout Blues," "If You See Natalie," and "I'm Going to Stop Pretending I Didn't Break Your Heart." Permeating those are instrumental snippets, some sad and ponderous ("Theme from Blinking Lights"), others bordering on bright ("Theme for a Pretty Girl that Makes You Believe God Exists"), and a handful of ironic exercises in straight-up pop (the winking "Going Fetal" and the cynical but upbeat "Hey Man [Now You're Really Living]"). Spread over two discs, the mood of Blinking Lights burns in fast and builds in its ferocity, so that when lighter moments like the funny "Whatever Happened to Soy Bomb" surface, they seem like ominous breaks in the storm. Though these songs make it easy to forget that Everett's gruff, fuzzed-over vocals have also graced fare breezy enough to be included on the Shrek soundtrack, their beauty delivers a thoughtful listener from caring. --Tammy La Gorce

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vagrant
  • ASIN: B0007Y8AMO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,366 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on April 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
A number of reviews that precede mine have already addressed how "Blinking Lights..." compares and rates within Eels discography, so I will not even attempt to do that, since I could not do it better nor offer much of a different opinion.
What I do want to share here, because the power of its music took me there without much of a choice on my part, is how this album stands so firmly and beautifully on its own, and it takes Eels music even farther that it has managed to go so far.
You've probably read already about Eels' "E" Everett's tragic family losses -her mother and sister dying within a short frame of time several years ago, her sibling by committing suicide- and about this double album being a diary of sorts of his coming to terms with these events, written and worked on for close to seven years.
I assume that some people -whether out of empathy, solidarity or morbid curiosity- may have been attracted to this music given reports of his mental fragility and their love for this man's music. In my case -nothing I'm necessarily proud of- when it comes to any art form, the artist's life is secondary: neither something I believe to predict the beauty or value of their work, nor a guarantee of depth because their subject is apparently serious.
Bottom line, I want to hear someone who can say something ... anything -that although very personal- has the capacity to be relevant to my life and help me learn something about the world that I was too busy or too dense to have noticed by myself. In other words, I don't want to read someone else's "journal" but make more sense of mine.
This is where Everett has succeeded so much.
Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Johnson on July 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have been on the fence about Eels for many years. The raspy voice of frontman Mark Everett has kept me from buying their albums. I was torn, because I think the songwriting has been quite good, but I can only take so much of his harsh vocals.

Everything changed for me with the release of "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations." The stark and honest material is complemented by Everett's emotive singing. The listener joins Everett through his melancholy journey through life. The trip is broken up with several "rest stops" with reprises of the "Blinking Lights Theme," always presented in a slightly different form. This helps the double disc album hold together as one cohesive piece of work.

Their current sound reminds me a lot of older Wilco, alt.-country/folk/pop, hard to categorize. Everett is like Bob Dylan without the metaphors, his feelings are presented in a plain and concise manner. I don't mean to imply that it's simplistic stuff, just not flowery.

This album is the uncorking of raw emotion without any trace of pretense. Although the band experiments with many unusual timbres, the album does not feel over-produced or self-indulgent. Could this have been cut down to one fantastic disc? Sure. But the passing of time is an important part of the experience. Plug your headphones into your stereo or iPod and take this trip with Eels. It's worth it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Davey Jones on May 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Boring songs? No good rock and roll? I don't know what some of these reviewers are thinking. I nearly flipped when I heard the infectuous energy of Losing Streak and the startling power of The Other Shoe. Which isn't even to mention the enthralling Old Sh**/New SH** and irresistible Hey Man... It's true that the majority of this double album's songs are "slow" numbers. They are beautiful, heartfelt, well-crafted songs which contrast with the handful of bang-up stunners. Yes, it's still very much "Eels music". But give the slower songs some repeated listens, they'll grow on you quickly. No, it's not perfect...some of the songs are forgettable, and like most four-star double-disc epics, it could be whittled down into a one-cd marvel. Still, there's no excuse for ignoring these Blinking Lights.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By bigfatdadee on July 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I am embarrassed to admit i heard eels for the first time only a couple of months ago, and it started with Blinking Lights. When I heard the backstory to this album and listened to it, I was floored. And I will admit it did take some serious initial listening to get the magnitude of what is going on in the two disks. But after the hooks/melody of the second track and the vocals of the third track, he had my attention for the rest of the two disks, and the last track is the worth the price of the disk itself, but I'll get to that later. Musically E is nothing short of a genius. Yes at first i thought Eels whas a Beck "light" retread, but that can't be further from the truth. There's Danny Elfman, Tom Waits, (literally) that great use of 60's style organ. I hear the traditional folk song structure on so many tracks, and how he disguises and buries theses structures through instrumentation will scare some and awe others.

Now lyrically, we all know the story, and backstory, and I'm now burning through his catalog prior to BL, and while not finding the work the calibur as BL, that would be an impossibility, for here it is. This album is the sum of E's life, musically, narratively,figuratively, and literally. This guy knows exactly where he is in his life and in his head, and says to us, "I am here." It took E seven years to get to the lyrics of the last song "Grandkids," and the small army of us who can relate to what E is sharing in that song, it's the best album-ending song ever. It's the song, the answer, the place he's been looking for for those seven years, he found it, and shared it with us. If you know the song, you know what I mean. And now the big question: know where Eels go from there? As a musician, where does one go after one finds his answer?

As for the "essential" satus, I will repeat: what has been done here muically is genius and lyrically is untouchable. The album excels beyond the circumstances and seven years' effort taken to create it.
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Topic From this Discussion
Rank the Eels albums
1. Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
2. Daisies Of The Galaxy
3. Shootenanny
4. Electro Shock Blues
5. Souljacker
6. Beautiful Freak
This was NOT easy --- May change with my mood!
Feb 24, 2007 by Jon Freeman |  See all 3 posts
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