Only one problem with this CD - It's too short! :)
KrabbyKrush | 03/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this one up on a whim... I only owned one Eels album at the time (beautiful Freak) and wasn't sure if this would be a good idea. Now I smack myself for not having bought it sooner! What an amazing little CD. The music is beautiful and the lyrics even more so, although they are (as should be expected from E) very very saddening. But they speak so honestly and so clearly, and in such poetic terms! Having experienced some of the same feelings as E at various points in my life, I can say that nobody in the world has their finger on the pulse of depression better than E does. Even Nine Inch Nails, despite his genius, does not make his point so artfully, preferring to hammer it home with hyperbole and repetitiveness. E makes his point in each song in a much more subtle and gentle way, but you know exactly what he's feeling. All this being said, I must say that I HATE how quickly the album ends! 11 tracks, only none of which are even 4 minutes long. 5 are 3 minutes or less! So the CD is over before you know it. It ends with the incredibly saddening You'll Be the Scarecrow, which is the perfect ending track. My favorite tracks on the album are Hello Cruel World, Looking Out the Window..., and E's Tune. However, it's ALL incredible. If you are an Eels fan, or anyone who can appreciate beautiful and thoughtful music of any kind, YOU HAVE TO GET THIS ALBUM!"
"A Man Called (E)"- E
Charles Tatum | 05/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This almost decade old album is still one of those underrated collections of songs that everyone can relate to, and will leave you wondering why E never had bigger success with it.The songs, except for two cowrites, were written by E and deal with distant love in a screwed up world, back in the early 1990's when our biggest problem was the Gulf War. The songs here are not depressing, however. They are upbeat, uptempo, and so true anyone out there will feel E is penning your emotions and getting it right on target. One by one, the songs are:1. Hello Cruel World
This catchy intro song just talks about the weird world we are in, without getting melancholy. We should just learn to accept our surroundings and get on with it,
"What the hell, Hello Cruel World"2. Fitting In With the Misfits
My favorite song on the album, as E sings about marching to the beat of your own drummer, made easier if you have friends who can march with you.
"Living in lost and found...Lost souls don't know where they're bound"3. Are You and Me Gonna Happen
Great piano hook and fresh drums make a seemingly unhappy song about a one sided love affair almost giddy.4. Looking Out the Window With a Blue Hat On
Another love from a distance song as E crosses into surreal territory, wanting to die and be born again so he can love his ideal even more. Not as uptempo as the earlier songs, but good.5. Nowheresville
A song we can all relate to, as E (and maybe his cowriter here) want to just take off and travel to exotic lands, falling in love with the perfect girl and companion on these imaginary travels that many of us will never make.
"Insane on the Seine"6. Symphony for Toy Piano in G Minor
A thirty second break in the songs has a toy piano leading an orchestra to crescendo, very funny.7. Mockingbird Franklin
Great use of strings make this song about the singer's soulmate even more moving. Mockingbird is just going through life not caring what everyone else thinks.
"I'm a lot like you"8. I've Been Kicked Around
This song is very similar to the George Harrison/ Traveling Wilburys sounds of the 1980's. The singer has been kicked around by life, losing his heart and soul, but he is alright.9. Pray
Another peppy song about love from afar has a spiritual side to it as E looks for his perfect mate.10. E's Tune
Another almost spiritual song, as E breaks from his perfect vocal/music mix to show the listener his confusion about the world around him.
"Life's just an ugly mess...
and it feels like someone's smiling down on me"11. You'll be the Scarecrow
The weakest song here, while still good, borrows too many elements from the first ten songs on this album.My biggest disappointment with E is that the songs are too short and there are not enough of them! Excluding the thirty second toy piano symphony, three of the songs are under three minutes, and none of the songs go over four minutes. E's blend of friendly pop standard instruments and intelligent lyrics will make you wonder what radio programmers are listening to today. It is weird to sit down and listen to an album, understanding every word being uttered, as opposed to the screaming angry rap/rock of today. E is an artist to seek out and enjoy, and is one of the reasons I do not listen to mainstream radio any more.The lyrics in quotation marks are snippets from lines heard on the album."
Tweeky Poppy Fun
Alf Kremer | Denver CO | 04/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although E later hit it big with eels, one can see where he's headed on this CD. It's far poppier (and catchier) than the eels's disks, but oddly, fewer songs make a lasting impression on me. One can see the beginnings of E's "I'm a nobody but someday I'll show you" fixation throughout, which occasionally detracts from an otherwise great album. Highlights include "Hello Cruel World", "E's Tune", and "Are You and Me Gonna Happen". I hope to hear "Symphony for toy piano in g minor" at my local symphony hall soon. All told, a very good album...but does anyone know what became of P Hux?"
A nice record from one of the most talented artists
Paul Lackey | Napa valley, CA | 04/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have purchaced all six cds produced by E (two solo albums, three with the Eels, and recent live album that features both). Though his music is quite melancholy, I don't find it depressing. Instead, I find it beautiful and intelligent. This album is a bit short, but there are several songs that alone make it worth buying, including "hello cruel world", "You'll be the scarecrow", "Mockingbird Franklin", and especially "E's tune" Highly recommended for those who enjoy well written music."
The man is a genius
pengish | Minneapolis, MN | 06/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"E is one of the best songwriters allowed to grace our fair planet earth. Through simple lyrics and melodies, he is able to convey oceans of emotion. This is a precursor to his work in Eels, and you can see his style shining and evolving throughout the 5 albums he has written. A Man Called E is an album of catchy songs with a "I'm depressed and things aren't too hot, but it'll all be okay eventually" feel to it. For example, "Find me an open grave and just push me in. Then lift me up to live again." A masterpiece of excellent writing and individual style, something incredibly rare in our day of fake plastic bands. The final track, "You'll be the Scarecrow" is one of my favorite songs of all time."