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Shootenanny!

4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 3, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Head Eel Mark "E" Everett purges his soul with a smile on Shootenanny!, as he delivers bursts of bittersweet wit and lighthearted drama. Unlike solemn 1996 epic Electro-Shock Blues and 2001’s thorny Souljacker, E's songwriting here puts the emphasis on light melodies and clean pop craft. While his limber genre-jumping often earns comparisons to Beck, there's also some of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy in E’s razor-burn voice. And though Shootenanny! isn’t out on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s experimental ledge, it has a similar unruly twang that injects a dose of whimsy into soul-searching songs like "Love of the Loveless." "Wrong About Bobby," for instance, glides along on sunny, jangling guitars while E tries and fails to forgive a violent grudge. By mixing sweet with sour, E's warm and fuzzy mope rock sounds great whether it's blasting out of a convertible on a sunny day or playing in the background on a rainy night. --Matthew Cooke
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B00009B8G2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,066 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've always enjoyed E's stuff, and the Eels...very good indeed. But, this is perhaps E's masterpiece and arguably the Best Album of the Year thus far. At just over 40 minutes it doesn't overstay its welcome (like so many who think they must use 50-60 minutes of a CD, even if half of it is filler), and leaves you coming back for more time and again. Great E-Pop with some very hard-edged guitar riffs thrown in - a perfect balance, really. Don't miss this one - all of E and the Eels promise finally comes together. Awesome.
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I hate this type of comparison, but here goes: if you took Wilco, made a young Tom Waits their singer, and forced them to stick to more traditional Blues-based forms, you'd have something akin to Eels.
The subtitle of SHOOTENANNY!--"Everybody Knows These Are Rock Hard Times"--says it all. The album plays like a deep blue depression on a sunny day, pounding along across it's own unique aural landscape. Some of the more fatalistic stuff is hard to take repeatedly, but "Saturday Morning" is stunning and, while most of the rest of the album is sure-fire Alt Rock, there are moments towards the end, like "Numbered Days," which have some kind of late 60s/early 70s atmosphere to them.
SHOOTENANNY! has been in my short stack of CDs for a month now; it's inspiration may not be unique but the effect the Eels create is.
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By A Customer on June 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Every time an Eels CD comes out, there is ALWAYS the usual grumbling about it not being up to par, etc. It was that way for every release. Then, in time, the album shows itself for what it really is. I believe this album is the best Eels album to date. Clearly he is going for a succinct, direct sound and message without pretense. It's direct, human and great! I could hear Muddy Water's singing the lyric of "Love Of The Loveless." Well done, again, Eels.
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This is a rare artist where it's best not to decide which single album is best. Doing so only helps those unfamiliar with the artist decide which ONE album to buy. Spend the money and buy ALL of the Eeels albums out there - you won't be disappointed. Unless of course you don't enjoy strikingly insightful lyrics wrapped in musical arrangements that defy nearly every other artist working today. Need proof of his lyrical talent? From "Somebody Loves You":
This nagging malaise
Is more than a phase
It feels like a job
But no boss ever pays you to lay there
And think how you'll die
While the tears start to well in your eyes
Depressing? Yeah, when read like the poetry that it is, but coupled with the sweeping orchestral chorus that reinforces the message that "somebody loves you, you're going to make it through" - it's hard to not to feel invigorated by the talent of this artist.
EBHP
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By A Customer on March 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I don't think America has ever fully understood Mark Oliver Everett (aka E or Mr. E) and the music he's made as part of the EELS. Shootenanny! is the band's 5th proper release and their most accessible to date. That being said, I don't think Shootenanny! is an attempt to get America to understand the EELS or for them to start selling millions of albums, but rather the opportunity for E to do something he doesn't normally do - write your typical pop/rock song without too much of the quirkiness that marked many of the band's previous releases, and for him to break free of the image of himself as a chronically depressed genius with a knack for turning generally positive phrases, such as "I love you," into some of the most devastating and defeating words ever. (Well, losing your father, mother, and sister - all within a year - will do that to you.)
"All In A Day's Work" begins Shootenanny! with a slow snarl of an electric guitar before the ominous bass guitar and drums take over darkly marching towards E's distorted vocals. The disc's single, "Saturday Morning," ironically enough is the most typical EELS track on Shootenanny! with E's switch to an almost taunting falsetto on the chorus over Butch's pounding drums leading to a wall of distorted guitars. "Love Of The Loveless" and "Rock Hard Times" despite their titles are two of the album's most upbeat and best tracks.
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The Eels have released several great albums during the past years, but for every radio friendly 'Last Stop: This Town' you got several 'Souljackers'. Don't get me wrong, I love the Eels, no matter if they play straight forward rock or more complex material. So I do not think, that they are selling out at all on this album. In fact, this album shows, what a great songwriter Mark Oliver Everett really is and the CD will hopefully attract an even wider fan base. There are great rock songs (All in a Day's Work, Saturday Morning, Dirty Girl, Wrong about Bobby), beautiful ballads (The good old Days, Rock Hard Times) and also some 'old style' Eels (Love of the Loveless, Agony, Lone Wolf) material on here. If you never bought an Eels album or if you couldn't quite connect to their older material, give this CD a try. It's definitely one of the best releases this year so far. And as the CD says : Everybody knows these are rock hard times....
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