Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
As former singer of American Music Club, Mark Eitzel wrote some of the biggest critical hits of the late 20th century. Yet adulatory reviews don't necessarily lead to sales, so this soulful, inspirational artist remains a ... more »
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As former singer of American Music Club, Mark Eitzel wrote some of the biggest critical hits of the late 20th century. Yet adulatory reviews don't necessarily lead to sales, so this soulful, inspirational artist remains a cult figure. The Invisible Man is his first new recording in some three years. It's said the delay is due to the death by overdose of his muse and closest friend, Kathleen Burns. Yet this is no fraught collection of primal screams and gothic thunder. Instead we have a wildly varied selection of mood pieces. "Christian Science Reading Room" has a quiet acoustic guitar occasionally attacked by military drum rolls, then engulfed by a strange keyboard recalling the Residents' Not Available. "Sleep" is a beautifully judged electronic lullaby (Eitzel actually spent the last two years producing the album on a Mac in his living room, and his diligence shows through), while the warm and countrified "Proclaim Your Joy"--reminiscent of a speeded-up take on Eileen Rose's "Would You Marry Me?"--has Eitzel sounding genuinely (and surprisingly) uplifted. Like Eitzel's other work, this album's often wordy and morose--imagine Leonard Cohen badly beaten and left to think and die in solitary confinement. But on display here is a truly human spirit that music lovers will appreciate. Everyone should have one Eitzel album. This one will do. --Dominic Wills
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"Wisdom From Another World..."
Martin Dawson | Royton, Oldham, United Kingdom | 02/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Coming on the back of some unbelievably memorable live UK shows in late 2000 this album fulfilled all the expectation and represented a blistering return to form.
The sound could be defined as lo-fi home electronica,in keeping with 'Lovers Leap USA' and the '99 demo's,and would hopefully appeal to those who found 'Caught In A Trap...' too bleak.
'The Boy With The Hammer' sets the tone with its slow-building intensity only punctuated late on by Eitzel's knowing self-parody when he croons,"So... boo, hoo, hoo,I'm really gonna miss you...".
The next is best..."Can you see,can you see,can you see what the world is?/The way it pulls you on and tricks you it's always some new spring morning...?".A song as good as anything in the AMC and Eitzel back-catalogue.Acoustic and emotional beauty is the best way to describe it...but if I could describe it properly,you wouldn't be reading the rest of my hopeless attempt to do justice to the man and would instead,simply be buying this and the entire AMC/Eitzel collection.Which I sincerely hope you are...
'To The Sea' is a tribute to Jeff Buckley but in a slightly more personal way than I suspect other attempts might be...As the live introductions confirm(with the then hindsight of listening to the song on CD)the song is Eitzel confessing his attraction to Jeff but only to us in song...because the last time he saw Jeff in New York prior to his tragic drowning Eitzel had almost waved him away rather than face up to his feelings.That Eitzel can then tie all this in with Jeff's inability to come to terms with his father and just us,how we generally act and feel is genius..."I was just busy running/Running from your beauty/Some run from the devil/Some from their own history/Some run from their hopes/And some run to the sea/Stupid don't you agree?".Well,yes.And human.All too human...
The whole of this album maintains the feel,the feeling and I cannot really recommend it enough.It doesn't contain a bad track(although 'Christian Science Reading Room' has to be described as a dirge compared to the humour-central live performances - a minor quibble!)and has a warmth missing from the previous album...
The final track quite properly exhorts each individual throughout their life to proclaim their joy and this is special because after all that has gone before it is an acknowledgement that however life is,however bad it seems at any given time,it is ...still something to believe in.Believe in Eitzel's hard-won wisdom here,enjoy this magnificent album and proclaim your joy but seek also truth,or a truth,and bear in mind the question Eitzel forces you to face :"...But if the truth won't make you happy,what will you do...?" .The implication here is that you will,maybe against the odds,dig in and try to find that elusive beauty or feeling...An inspiration."
Gibson | Atlanta, Georgia USA | 06/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In purusing the reveiws of those who claim to be Eitzel fans, there is an undercurrent that his more pop-driven songs are his weakest. I disagree and come to Eitzel's music from a different perspective, generally prefering his more upbeat tunes. Against that backdrop, "Invisible Man" is better than "Caught in a Trap," but falls short of "60 Watt Silver Lining" and "West." The second cut, "Can you see?" is the most accessible song since "In your Life" from "West." Here, Eitzel continues his exploration of blindness and sight as themes for moral/emotional confusion and spiritual healing. In addition to "Can you see?," Eitzel resurrects the seeing eye dog from previous albums. A powerful metaphor resonating with images from King Lear's Gloucester or Lear himself. Unlike other Eitzel efforts, this album did not grow on me as much as most others. Rather than getting more and more out of each listening, I reached a plateau of appreciation for the music and lyrics, though the plateau still eclipses most other artist's works. As always, Eitzel delivers a powerful lyrical punch. But for me, the album becomes a bit monotonous as it progresses. A good, but not great effort from someone whom I expect to produce sublime rather than acceptably memorable songs."
"the dude's way sensative..."
kevin mclemore | chicago, il | 08/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mark Eitzel is the greatest living songwriter, without question. In my mind, this album is a return to his glory, something that hadn't been seen since 60 Watt Silver Lining and before American Music Club split. Definatively different than anything he'd ever done before, either solo or with American Music Club. There is a little dance feel to it, with drum machines and synths adding some textures. But Mark's gorgeous, fragile guitar playing is not lost at all with this. The electronics merely add to the songs. "Sleep" is my favorite solo Mark Eitzel song. Maybe it's the line about the pedal steel guitar, I don't know. But just an absolutely beautiful song. "Anything" is a haunting little song, perhaps about his ex-girlfriend Kathleen Burns, who died of an overdose in 1998. Although they hadn't been together for a number of years before her death, you can tell that he knows he might never love anyone as much as he loved her. "I'd do anything to be where you are;" perhaps calling to Kathleen in heaven. "Without You" feels like it belonged on an American Music Club album, maybe "Mercury." I could honestly go one forever about this records. It's beautiful, amazing. It makes me cry. I listen to it in the car and imagine Mark standing before me, onstage, holding his acoustic guitar. A very honest man. This record is almost like he opened up his soul and let anyone see what was inside. It really, really is a horrible shame that Mark Eitzel and the American Music Club were never really recognized for their amazing talents."