Dreamworks - 2003 - 41 minutes
Although Eels frontman E defines, with tongue firmly in cheek, the title of his latest album as "a social gathering at which participants engage in folk singing and sometimes dancing, but mostly the shooting of guns," he still comes across as a miserable git on 'Shootenanny'. Sure, there's folk ('Wrong About Bobby') and even a bit of dancing could be done to 'All in a Day's Work' but E's lyrics give the impression that he'd be more taken with the shooting than the socialising.
The autobiographical 'Lone Wolf', introspective 'Agony' and downhearted 'Numbered Days' can't be balanced by the upbeat pop of 'Saturday Morning' or 'Dirty Girl's alt country. 'Love of the Loveless' is a reminder of 'Susan's House' from 1996's 'Beautiful Freak' and 'Fashion Awards' is a lazy indictment of meaningless award shows. According to E, it was written in three minutes in front of the television - and it shows.
When E sings "But no one's laughing/And least of all not me" on 'Rock Hard Times' you'll have to agree with him.
Tracklisting: All In A Day's Work - Saturday Morning - The Good Old Days - Love Of The Loveless - Dirty Girl - Agony - Rock Hard Times - Restraining Order Blues - Lone Wolf - Wrong About Bobby - Numbered Days - Fashion Awards - Somebody Loves You