Music: End Times (Eels)

January/February 2010 Issue

Barely six months after his last album, Eels auteur Mark Oliver Everett returns with a forlorn song cycle tracking the demise of a romance. Though he’s been chronicling his psychic pain since the early ’90s, Everett’s haunted ballads and howling rockers haven’t lost one iota of their tortured immediacy, thanks to a voice that recalls the world-weariness of an old-time bluesman. End Times recounts every chapter of the story—happy moments (“The Beginning”), conflict (“A Line in the Dirt”), angry separation (“Unhinged”), and acceptance (“On My Feet”)—transforming bitterness into catharsis through mordant wit that takes the edge off all that misery.