Eels - The Deconstruction Album Review

Story posted April 10, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment by Owen Paiva.

Mark Everett, better known as E, has used his band of revolving artists to paint the picture of what he believes to be the grim future under our current president with The Deconstruction. A light indie sound glosses over the depressing lyrics and world built by this album. E uses the title of the album to show what is to come throughout: the themes of a fallen world, devastation and famine. If one lyric sums up the album in a nutshell it’s, “the reconstruction will begin, only when there’s nothing left.”

The album plays like a clairvoyant sharing his or her visions, with themes of destruction and hope being explored. “Sweet Scorched Earth,” thematically, is almost a masterpiece, as it describes the earth after nuclear devastation from someone witnessing the event from a fallout shelter. He sings about how the water is poisoned and the sun is dying. Yet, he is lucky, since he is with his wife and finds love and a life in the shelter with his family. The intertwining of these ideas are fresh since it uses its dark concept as both a warning and promotion of hope. “The Premonition” preaches this message beautifully, in the song that perfectly encapsulates the mood of the album.

The instrumental atmosphere is an integral part of this album, as the acoustic guitar gives this album a folklike feel as if E is recounting folk stories passed down from those who have witnessed all the different horrors he sings about. There is interesting use of strings as well, with the use of violins on some songs giving the album the feeling of a soundtrack. It feels like the soundtrack to a world strickened by war, only to hang in there by a thread and begin to rebuild. The indie sound makes the album an easy listen, which is important to have when weighty lyrics are used so frequently. The sound can seem cheerful and depressing at the same time, which is an impressive achievement.
The use of interludes throughout the album is a welcoming change of pace, giving the listener a breather so they can soak in the message of the previous few songs and be ready to do so for the next few, which is important on a concept album.

The only major flaw with this album is the sound can sometimes grow a little stale, but there are a couple of songs that spruce things up like “Bone Dry” and “You are a Shining Light” that have a heavier mood and louder sound than the light, indie vibes felt on the rest of the album.

At points it feels like a slog to get through part of the album, but a strong second half provides an indie musician’s journey through the possible fallout from the current head of state. Politics aside, this album manages to explore its concept in an interesting way through interludes and atypical songs. Eels can easily keep up this recent momentum if E continues to pour his emotions and personal fears into his music.

Rating: 7/10

 

 

Owen Paiva is a freshman majoring in Film/Video. To contact him, email owenpaiva@sbcglobal.net.