Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Before recording WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS, the last EELS album to be released, EELS leader Mark Oliver Everett called the band together to record a group of highly personal songs at his Los Feliz, California studio. Finding the process uncomfortable, he decided to take a break and reconvened with the band some months later to record what became WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS, an album full of spontaneous band collaborations. After that album's release and subsequent 73 show world tour, the band returned to what they had started all that time ago.
'I listened to what we had done, and it made me uncomfortable… but not uncomfortable enough,' Everett says now. 'I decided to scrub over half of the songs and write new ones that would make me feel even more uneasy. If I'm not uncomfortable, It's not real enough. I needed to dig a little deeper.'
The resulting album, THE CAUTIONARY TALES OF MARK OLIVER EVERETT, is an extraordinarily vivid and intimate document of a personal struggle. 'It's inspired by something I went though,' Everett says. 'Someone I lost, by choice, and later came to regret losing. It wasn't until I started to look at my role in it that it began to feel like I was getting somewhere worthwhile. The experience transformed me. This is the musical version of that experience. I'm hoping it could maybe serve as some sort of example for others. To learn from my mistakes.'
Quite different to the previous EELS release, and in contrast to the high-octane rock n' roll of the last EELS tour, THE CAUTIONARY TALES couples a bare-bones lyrical intimacy with a live orchestra of cello, viola, violins, bassoon, English and French horn, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, musical saw, glockenspiel and celesta that lends a stunning backdrop to the brutal insights of the lyrics.
'The title may make you think it's a solo album, but it's very much a group effort,' says Everett. Indeed, EELS members Koool G Murder, The Chet, P-Boo and Knuckles are all involved in performing, songwriting, and even arranging the album's orchestral parts.
'Everyone knows that if you want to write something convincing, you write about what you know,' says Everett, 'and what I know best are my experiences. I'm so lucky in so many ways, but it hasn't been easy. I may as well have been raised by wolves. I've had to figure everything out the hard way, through trial and error. I grew up very fast in some ways, and very slow in others. These are some of the trials and errors.'
'It's all a bit embarrassing,' Everett says now. 'But I figure it was a worthwhile endeavor, and I might as well put it out there for all to see - with my name and photo on it - no sugarcoating. When I was 10 years old my favorite album was Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon. The way he cut right through to the brutal truth really resonated with me, This is all his fault. I blame John Lennon,' he jokes. 'It wasn't an easy process, and I wouldn't want to go through it again. But I'm glad I did. I'm a better person for it, and I hope others can gain some perspective or awareness from it and maybe even apply it to their own lives. Maybe it could even start the process for some. Or at least make the process a little easier for them. To know they're not alone.'
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I wasn't a huge fan of Wonderful Glorious; it was too dark, and too long. End Times and Beautiful Freak are still my favorite albums - those seem to land on my playlists more than any others. I like that Cautionary Tales is thirteen songs long and much more to the point. It plays very well with my two favorite albums.
I like the production of this album; it has grit, emotion, and dirtiness in it. The first time I listened to the album I accidently had it on shuffle with End Times - the two albums worked together perfectly.
Parallels is a great homage to his father, hedging around the concept of parallel universes. It is about loss and his hope that the woman he's not with anymore is well. A classic Eels song with E's voice up front and strong, beautiful acoustic music behind him.
Agatha Chang has to be one of the funnier Eels songs I've heard in a long time. There is just something funny about how much he misses the girl with long black hair he dated long ago, and wishes he was still with her.
Series of Misunderstandings is backed with a nursery rhyme sound. A new different sound for the Eels.
Answers took me totally by surprise. The song is set to a slowed down version of Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road. Of course E sounds nothing like Bruce, and the lyrics are completely different. I just couldn't help hearing Thunder Road.
Gentlemen's Choice is one of my least favorite songs on the album - E looks back on what he thought would be but never happened. This isn't the twenty year old writing songs of hope and what will happen in the future. This is about looking back and seeing his life didn't turn out the way he thought it should have. To put it kindly, it is a depressing song. One of the refrains is I'd be better off dead.
Dead Reckoning is a strange song - it is a metaphor for life, you go through life not knowing where you will go, there are no instruments to tell you the direction to go. You drive blindly down the road of life. Sometimes it ends well, other times not so well. The music has a hint of funeral dirge.
The album closes with Where I'm Going. For an album full of an older man looking back at his life, this is an odd song. The metaphor is a pocket full of seeds that he is going to spread around and hope for rain. For all the negativity, this is a bright hope for the future.
I like when E gets very introspective in his songs and lays bare the emotions that we all battle within. This is a terrific collection of songs that drip with truth and haunting epiphany especially with the added gems found in the deluxe version of this terrific album.
One important note: the AutoRip of this album ONLY includes the original disc and not the deluxe disc. I am not sure why that is so.
And there's a lot of GREAT songs in here.(" Where I'm From", "Mistakes of My Youth", "Lockdown Hurricane") "But the production choices are not very imaginative. Still, it is a very moody and soulful album and you should get it!!!!
I just hope the next album will sound more like they spend more than a weekend recording it.
Most recent customer reviews
great songs and great sound in vinyl