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Beautiful Freak (Audio Cassette)

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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E, the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with LA band Eels, had already recorded two solo albums before teaming up with drummer Butch and bassist Tommy to produce Beautiful Freak. Opener and single "Novocaine for the Soul" set the tone: melodic, articulate pop that, like fellow LA musician Beck, makes startling and inventive use of samples, beats and odd arrangements. The Eels' music takes in post-Nirvana grunge, soul, country, hip-hop, and even jazz, all without sounding derivative; E's intensely personal lyrics are similarly multi-faceted, blending wit, angst, disaffection, and surreal urban detail--as in the mournfully soundtracked cross-city trek of "Susan's House". Throughout the eclectic swirl of musical influence and misanthropic irony the band never lose the ability to craft affecting laid-back pop songs and subtle, naggingly catchy hooks. An inspired album, and that rare thing, an art-house rock record full of memorable tunes. --Burhan Tufail

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Limited Tour Edition plus Bonus CD.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Today could be your lucky day... April 4 2004
By J-po
Format:Audio CD
Awesome experimental debut for Butch, Tommy, and "E". I bought this album recently after seeing the Abandoned Pools in concert (Tommy is the lead singer) but hadn't heard anything off of it besides "Novacaine" on the radio and "My Beloved Monster" from Shrek. Boy was I missing out.
I'm more of an 'experimental' Eels fan; albums like Beautiful Freak and Electro-shock are better in my opinion just because of the extreme diversity between songs. From the quasi-piano balled of the title track to the pure rock and roll number "Mental", E and the crew keep you guessing.
Lyrically, the sardonic humor really shines here; especially on "Susan's House" which really paints a nice story (albeit it jumps from one place to another in a town). E is a better ironic-writer than beck and a lot more self-deprecating and expressive ("Everyday they rain down on me, flower in a hailstorm")
If you're in 'one of those moods' or just looking for something interesting from a very talented group of musicians, look no further than The Eels.
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Format:Audio CD
This record is simply amazing. I've yet to hear another album that flows so well from track to track--almost seamlessly. Eels mastermind E is always coming up with better than great stuff (just check out any other Eels album for proof) and really established a high-water mark here on the first Eels album. The melodies, all simple, almost childlike at times, are straightforward and reel you in immediately. The opening track "Novocaine For The Soul," the song for which the band is known largely to the public, is a wonderful pop creation, pure ear candy. The narrative "Susan's House," a spoken/sung track that incorporates a jazzy upright bass sound, an old school hip-hoppish drumbeat sound, and a Gladys Knight & The Pips piano sample into the chorus, is the most experimental track here, for a band known for mucho experimentation, but it still sounds as flawless and like something you could hear on the radio (that is, if radio actually paid any attention to the Eels) as the other tracks.
As always, E's lyrics deal with his usual stuff--chronicles of his status as the smart, cynical, too-cool for mass consumption outsider ("Guest List"), then there are the character sketches ("Beautiful Freak.") It's been a few years since this came out, and there are a lot more songwriters that write similar lyrics to E, but nobody does this stuff better than E.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This album is its own littler microcosm. Dec 14 2003
Format:Audio CD
The greatest word to describe this album is beautiful. It starts off with Novocain for the Soul, which has a sort of nostalgic theme while reminding me of a music box. The record goes on to Beautiful Freak, which has haunting piano music and vocals, to ending with Manchild, the only song on the album which hasn't completely captured me, simply because of the girl whining in the background. This is an extremely solid album. While alot of people think it's depressing, I find it rather affirming and certainly uplifting. Its soft, skillful, poignant music has that magical ability to take you to some emotional place you've never been, where you aren't completely happy but you're perfectly content with everything and wouldn't change any of it.
The lyrics, on paper, seem highly disregardable, but when the singer E embraces them, they have more meaning than anyone ever imagined. His voice is pregnant with a contagious emotion that you cannot help but absorb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums ever made. 6 stars! April 23 2000
Format:Audio CD
Words cannot describe how incredible this album is, but I'll try. First of all, this is easily one of my favorite 10 albums of all time. I can't get the songs out of my head... the music is so catchy, AND the lyrics are so intelligent and piercing! E experiments with a few different styles here, from harder stuff like Mental to funk like Guest List, to more depressing slow stuff like Manchild. My favorites are Not Ready Yet, Flower, Guest List, Your Lucky Day in Hell, and Manchild. However, it's ALL great stuff. The only low points for me are Mental and Spunky, but that's only because they're not INCREDIBLE like the rest of the songs... they're still very good by normal standards though! My only warning would be that this album is VERY depressing... by the time the last notes of Manchild (a real downer of a song, but an appropriate last track) have faded, I'm often in tears. But it's so worth it! Buy this album!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am impressed March 20 2004
Format:Audio CD
I heard of (E) through watching the movie Levity. I liked the style of his playing and singing, so I thought I would check him out. I got Beautiful Freak and I am currently listening to it through the first time, and already love it.
The music and the styles are very diverse, which I love, yet the whole album does maintain a laid back feel. I'm all about experimentation so that was a big plus for me.
The lyrics are another amazing aspect. They are very sarcastic, strait to the point, and even laugh out loud funny sometimes. I love his ability to write something so "real", listen for yourself to truely understand what I am saying. The vocal style is also very nice, very Beck.
While this CD is awesome, I would say it would not appeal to everyone. If your not into experimental stuff, then you should probably look elsewhere, but if you enjoy something original, this is a treat for ears to listen to.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Debut, a little up and down but a classic
Mark Everett had already made some albums under the name of "E". 'Beautiful Freak' was the first album under the name of Eels, hoping that his E albums would be standing... Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by M. Buisman
4.0 out of 5 stars one day the world will be ready for you.
Beautiful Freak is a very mello album with original sounding music. Novocaine for the Soul, the first song on the CD is an amazing song, that, I have found, different people who... Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by "drunknmunkey078"
4.0 out of 5 stars Not electrical EELS
I am attracted by their lack of energy. Everything seems to be so light, especially the soft drum and the singer that never pushes his voice. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2003 by Guylaine Le Ber
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange but lovely
'Beautiful Freak' is a rarity of an album, honest and fragile that is bleak and easy listening at the same time. Read more
Published on June 23 2003 by ncr
5.0 out of 5 stars THE EELS--FULL PROOF PLAN TO SUCESS
The eels have always been known for great music which is generally restricted to a small minority group known as college rockers, however with there latest 'Beautiful Freak' the... Read more
Published on March 1 2003 by Rebecca Brackpool
5.0 out of 5 stars THE EELS--FULL PROOF PLAN TO SUCESS
The eels have always been known for great music which is generally restricted to a small minority group known as college rockers, however with there latest 'Beautiful Freak' the... Read more
Published on March 1 2003 by Rebecca Brackpool
1.0 out of 5 stars Tried to get into it, but....
I bought this CD back in '96 when I saw the video for "Novocaine for the Soul". I listened to the rest of the album back then and found it pretty boring. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful, sad CDs I own
'Beautiful Freak' is without doubt the best of the Eels: an emotive, gorgeous, complex, sad work tinged with regret and sadness yet steeped in beauty and musical loveliness. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2002 by alexliamw
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a masterpiece.
This is the Eels first album, and also their most accessible. It contains "Novocaine for the Soul," a radio hit that E resents writing enough to never play it live under any... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002 by Shadowgraphs
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