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Invisible Man

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 22, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1 x CD Album
UK 2001

1The Boy With The Hammer In The Paper Bag
2Can You See?
3Christian Science Reading Room
5To The Sea
7Steve I Always Knew
10Without You
11The Global Sweep Of Human History
12Seeing Eye To Eye
13Proclaim Your Joy

As former singer of American Music Club, Mark Eitzel wrote some of the biggest critical hits of the late 20th century. Yet adulatory reviews don't necessarily lead to sales, so this soulful, inspirational artist remains a cult figure. The Invisible Man is his first new recording in some three years. It's said the delay is due to the death by overdose of his muse and closest friend, Kathleen Burns. Yet this is no fraught collection of primal screams and gothic thunder. Instead we have a wildly varied selection of mood pieces. "Christian Science Reading Room" has a quiet acoustic guitar occasionally attacked by military drum rolls, then engulfed by a strange keyboard recalling the Residents' Not Available. "Sleep" is a beautifully judged electronic lullaby (Eitzel actually spent the last two years producing the album on a Mac in his living room, and his diligence shows through), while the warm and countrified "Proclaim Your Joy"--reminiscent of a speeded-up take on Eileen Rose's "Would You Marry Me?"--has Eitzel sounding genuinely (and surprisingly) uplifted. Like Eitzel's other work, this album's often wordy and morose--imagine Leonard Cohen badly beaten and left to think and die in solitary confinement. But on display here is a truly human spirit that music lovers will appreciate. Everyone should have one Eitzel album. This one will do. --Dominic Wills

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

Song Title Time Price
  1. The Boy With The Hammer In The Paper Bag 5:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Can You See? 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Christian Science Reading Room 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Sleep 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. To The Sea 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Shine 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Steve I Always Knew 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Bitterness 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Anything 5:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Without You 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. The Global Sweep Of Human History 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Seeing Eye Dog 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Proclaim Your Joy 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 22, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B00005B9SN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,620 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin Dawson on February 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Coming on the back of some unbelievably memorable live UK shows in late 2000 this album fulfilled all the expectation and represented a blistering return to form.
The sound could be defined as lo-fi home electronica,in keeping with 'Lovers Leap USA' and the '99 demo's,and would hopefully appeal to those who found 'Caught In A Trap...' too bleak.
'The Boy With The Hammer' sets the tone with its slow-building intensity only punctuated late on by Eitzel's knowing self-parody when he croons,"So... boo, hoo, hoo,I'm really gonna miss you...".
The next is best..."Can you see,can you see,can you see what the world is?/The way it pulls you on and tricks you it's always some new spring morning...?".A song as good as anything in the AMC and Eitzel back-catalogue.Acoustic and emotional beauty is the best way to describe it...but if I could describe it properly,you wouldn't be reading the rest of my hopeless attempt to do justice to the man and would instead,simply be buying this and the entire AMC/Eitzel collection.Which I sincerely hope you are...
'To The Sea' is a tribute to Jeff Buckley but in a slightly more personal way than I suspect other attempts might be...As the live introductions confirm(with the then hindsight of listening to the song on CD)the song is Eitzel confessing his attraction to Jeff but only to us in song...because the last time he saw Jeff in New York prior to his tragic drowning Eitzel had almost waved him away rather than face up to his feelings.That Eitzel can then tie all this in with Jeff's inability to come to terms with his father and just us,how we generally act and feel is genius...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kevin mclemore on August 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Mark Eitzel is the greatest living songwriter, without question. In my mind, this album is a return to his glory, something that hadn't been seen since 60 Watt Silver Lining and before American Music Club split. Definatively different than anything he'd ever done before, either solo or with American Music Club. There is a little dance feel to it, with drum machines and synths adding some textures. But Mark's gorgeous, fragile guitar playing is not lost at all with this. The electronics merely add to the songs. "Sleep" is my favorite solo Mark Eitzel song. Maybe it's the line about the pedal steel guitar, I don't know. But just an absolutely beautiful song. "Anything" is a haunting little song, perhaps about his ex-girlfriend Kathleen Burns, who died of an overdose in 1998. Although they hadn't been together for a number of years before her death, you can tell that he knows he might never love anyone as much as he loved her. "I'd do anything to be where you are;" perhaps calling to Kathleen in heaven. "Without You" feels like it belonged on an American Music Club album, maybe "Mercury." I could honestly go one forever about this records. It's beautiful, amazing. It makes me cry. I listen to it in the car and imagine Mark standing before me, onstage, holding his acoustic guitar. A very honest man. This record is almost like he opened up his soul and let anyone see what was inside. It really, really is a horrible shame that Mark Eitzel and the American Music Club were never really recognized for their amazing talents.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gibson on June 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In purusing the reveiws of those who claim to be Eitzel fans, there is an undercurrent that his more pop-driven songs are his weakest. I disagree and come to Eitzel's music from a different perspective, generally prefering his more upbeat tunes. Against that backdrop, "Invisible Man" is better than "Caught in a Trap," but falls short of "60 Watt Silver Lining" and "West." The second cut, "Can you see?" is the most accessible song since "In your Life" from "West." Here, Eitzel continues his exploration of blindness and sight as themes for moral/emotional confusion and spiritual healing. In addition to "Can you see?," Eitzel resurrects the seeing eye dog from previous albums. A powerful metaphor resonating with images from King Lear's Gloucester or Lear himself. Unlike other Eitzel efforts, this album did not grow on me as much as most others. Rather than getting more and more out of each listening, I reached a plateau of appreciation for the music and lyrics, though the plateau still eclipses most other artist's works. As always, Eitzel delivers a powerful lyrical punch. But for me, the album becomes a bit monotonous as it progresses. A good, but not great effort from someone whom I expect to produce sublime rather than acceptably memorable songs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eliot Wilder on October 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Recorded mostly on his own in his San Francisco apartment using a sampler and Pro-tools, "The Invisible Man" sees the return of a more clearheaded Eitzel three years after the dour "Caught in a Trap." Although his fourth official solo release since the demise of his much-loved-by-those-in-the-know American Music Club is initially easier on the ears with its engaging acoustic and synthetic textures, it is not minus Eitzel's trademark wit and intelligence. With its tales of death, masquerade parties, betrayal and revenge, good drugs and bad sex all sung in a husky baritone, "The Invisible Man" is dense with hope and melancholy. It is also the most overtly musical album Eitzel has recorded since "60 Watt Silver Lining," with the occasional welcome choruses - as on the luminous "Shine" - that stick not only in the mind but in the heart. But as in the past it's Eitzel's emotional veracity that affects you the most. The words of "Bitterness" and "Anything" cut so close that you feel like a voyeur, as if you are reading someone's personal journal. Even Eitzel admits as much. Of the song "Christian Science Reading Room" he remarked: "It's a true story. All of my songs are true stories, actually." Nakedly honest, at times almost embarrassingly so, but "The Invisible Man" is never anything less than engaging. It's darkness made visible.
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