Review Summary: Mark Everett and Eels lift themselves from the perpetual gloom to deliver an album of surprising optimism.Tomorrow Morning
is the third part of a trilogy that, according to Eels main-man Mark Everett, covers desire, loss and redemption. The trilogy began with the aggressive Hombre Lobo
, slid into the funereal End Times
and finishes on a high with the impressive and playful Tomorrow Morning
The usual characteristics of an Eels LP are here; drawled vocals over jaunty rhythms, lyrics with a more obtuse and dark subject matter than their contemporaries and hidden in there somewhere the long shadow cast by hope. Tomorrow Morning
sees Everett cast off most of the gloom that has permeated the preceding eight albums. Even the song titles reveal a lighter side to proceedings; "In Gratitude For This Magnificent Day", "Baby Loves Me", "This Is Where It Gets Good" are three such examples.
Don’t be fooled though, as Tomorrow Morning
is not going to become the feel-good soundtrack to the year anytime soon. "Baby Loves Me" contains some textbook examples of self-deprecation (“The neighbour doesn’t like my flowers/The waiter doesn’t like my tip/The librarian shushes me/The travel agent cancelled my trip”) and is the standout track on the album along with the gospel and rockabilly jive of "Looking Up" which looks certain to be a live favourite. It’s almost a relief however to hear him write of some form of hope and positivity. End Times
was marred by its dragging down of the listener with its frank musings on divorce, estrangement and apocalyptic doom-mongering.
ushers in the use of electronic instrumentation, marrying rhythmic drum machines and almost celestial sound samples that add several new dimensions to Eels’ sound. End Times
was let down by, amongst other things, its flat production and uninspiring instrumentation. Tomorrow Morning
is littered with little extras that make the whole album one logical, coherent and ultimately enjoyable piece.
Everett’s mood gauge, famously pointing towards low all these years, seems to have swung wildly to the other end of the spectrum in the eight months between albums. It will be interesting to see if this good mood will continue. With Everett making a name for himself as one of the more prolific and talented artists of his time you hope this will enable him to mine a rich new vein for his work. One might suggest a revamp of the Eels sound; the furrow they currently work on has been plowed enough. You hope that Everett becomes more comfortable, more emphatic, with his talent and the resources at his disposal.