released: 09.24.01 (UK) 01.02 (U.S.)
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
naldrett - uk correspondent
All too often
the quality bands leave three or four years between their albums,
so we should all be highly delighted that the Eels have graced
the charts with their second album in little over 18 months.
named after the medias nickname for a serial killer in the
1990s, is a darker affair than Daisies
Of The Galaxy, returning them back to the firmer roots
of their foundation album Beautiful Freak and the follow-up,
Electro-Shock Blues. But Souljacker is more mature than
these first two recordings, even if it does harbour a similar
gloomy feel that E seemed to have left behind in the years after
his mothers death.
sound of "Woman Driving, Man Sleeping" and "Fresh
Feeling" are performed in the typical Eels style that leave
you pensive, but with a memorable tune in the head, soon finding
yourself singing along. The classics on Souljacker are
many, and typified by "Dog Faced Boy," an opener that
introduces us to their new deep bass sound, which keeps making
an appearance elsewhere on the record.
Stop Boxer" is also a carefully crafted tune with a haunting
guitar and brilliantly sung chorus, while "Jungle Telegraph"
is a manic rush of a track about a man who is born in a storm,
grows up to be a prostitute, kills a man and runs off to Africa
to live his life out high in a tree. Work that one out if you
can, but the Mississippi interlude in the middle of it is a sheer
delight, just like the Latin influence that carves "Thats
Not Really Funny" into such a remarkable song.
murderer was so named because he claimed to steel the souls of
the people that he had killed, and part of the newly bearded Es
mission was to show that living in a soulless world was empty
and ugly, a theme definitely explored in "World Of Shit."
The Eels may
not be everybodys cup of tea, they are not upbeat, you cant
really dance to them and some tracks are so depressing that all
sharp instruments should be hidden away before you listen to it
in case you try to harm yourself. But the repeated musical and
vocal quality of their albums cannot be ignored, and Souljacker
simply builds on the impressive foundations they had already laid.
Dog Faced Boy
2. That's Not Really Funny
3. Fresh Feeling
4. Woman Driving, Man Sleeping
5. Souljacker, Pt. 1
6. Friendly Ghost
7. Teenage Witch
8. Bus Stop Boxer
9. Jungle Telegraph
10. World of Shit
11. Souljacker, Pt. 2
12. What Is This Note?