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4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 12 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Geffen - Universal Special Imports
  • ASIN: B000062YAJ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,153 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Dog Faced Boy
2. That's Not Really Funny
3. Fresh Feeling
4. Woman Driving, Man Sleeping
5. Souljacker Part I
6. Friendly Ghost
7. Teenage Witch
8. Bus Stop Boxer
9. Jungle Telegraph
10. World Of S#!t
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I Write The B-Sides
2. Hidden Track
3. Jehovah's Witness
4. Rotten World Blues

Product Description

If irony could be traded like currency, Eels singer-songwriter E would be a wealthy man. As it is, his remarkable ability to filter out the mundane and focus on the fringes, where the really interesting cats dwell, guarantees he'll always have a career but will never be a household name. On Souljacker, E and the gang frame a motley assortment of characters with the sonic equivalent of a doodle pad--all random squiggles, free-floating words and phrases, disembodied hearts, and unblinking eyes. As such, unlikely bedfellows--"Dog Faced Boy," "Friendly Ghost," "Bus Stop Boxer," "Woman Driving, Man Sleeping"--are bundled in a patchwork quilt of guitars, bass, drums, organ grinder-style synth, and quite possibly a toy piano and percussion. The unabashedly goo-goo-eyed ballad "Fresh Feeling" launches with a swell of strings, just to underscore how dreamy our protagonist feels, and the spastic instrumental twitches on "That's Not Really Funny" counter the song's title, while doubling as one of the few elements able to snap E's voice out of its vaguely narcoleptic drone. Ruggedly individual and wickedly catchy (not to mention more upbeat than the two death-obsessed albums preceding it), Souljacker cements E's position as patron saint to the weird-and-weary-but-still-hopeful. --Kim Hughes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Beautiful Freak is one of my favourite records of all time - its an album that swims in sadness and is simultaneously life-affirming. High hopes, then, for Souljacker. The good news is, er...its good. The bad news is, quite simply, its not as good.
The first thing to establish is that the turn for the rockier is not a problem with me. "Dog Faced Boy", "Souljacker Part 1" and "What Is This Note", the three tracks that take this direction, are all pretty cool. Equally, the opposite side is fine too - "Fresh Feeling" and "World of S#!t" are lovely love songs. In fact, there's nothing here to take particular exception too. Its even more eclectic than previous records. But there's not quite that touch of magic to it.
Frequently they plough the same territory as previous albums. "That's Not Really Funny" is the album's "My Beloved Monster" with its deliberately strange instrumental bits, but just isn't quite as inspired. "Friendly Ghost" is the I'm gonna-smile-anyway song. "Bus Stop Boxer" is the totally downcast, self-loathing song. And they're all perfectly fine, perfectly good - but don't I get the feeling Eels have done this better before? I mean, when I first heard this record I thought, rockier, more diverse - nice. But then I happened to slip on Beautiful Freak and I thought, its just not the same league, is it?
There's not that wide-eyed, tear-inducing, painful, beautiful, dashed-but-still-there hope of that record here. Its perfectly possible to make yourself like or even love Souljacker, because, taking the ingredients of each song, and seeing what they do, its well-executed, well-written and its good stuff. But it doesn't force you to just love it like Beautiful Freak does, isn't that incredible record. For that, unfortunately, its down to a respectable, but disappointing, 3 stars.
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Format: Audio CD
The Eels' Souljacker wrestles with a tonal middle ground somewhere between To Bring You My Love-era PJ Harvey and the latest Sparklehorse release. That John Parish produced or co-produced both of those works, and manned the boards on Souljacker as well, sheds some light on its familiar yet still unique sound, as if he took what he'd learned from both sessions and applied them to this latest excursion from head Eel E. The opening track, "Dog Faced Boy," uses crunchy guitars and thick basslines that establish a menacing mood not dissimilar from Harvey's Love, while "That's Not Really Funny" has a processed-yet-folksy vibe akin to "Comfort Me" or "Apple Bed" from Sparklehorse's It's a Wonderful Life. Despite Parish's usage of familiar studio tricks, E manages to push his personality through on several cuts, most notably the acoustic, reflective "Woman Driving, Man Sleeping" and "Jungle Telegraph," which successfully marries Parish's beat-heavy manipulations with E's pointedly absurdist lyrical imagery. While it doesn't measure up to the Eels' 1998 masterpiece Electro-Shock Blues, or possess the uniformly solid pop craftsmanship of 2000's Daisies of the Galaxy, Souljacker is an interesting detour, expanding the Eels' musical palette while remaining true to E's wonderfully idiosyncratic pop vision.
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Format: Audio CD
The sloppily-played fuzz tone guitar riff that opens Dog Faced Boy (and the album) almost turned me off. I was hoping for the pseudo-symphonic, almost Wilson-esque sounds that created the best parts of Electro-Shock Blues and Daisies of the Galaxy. Everything about this -- the guitar tones, the panning, the percussion, the overdriven voice -- is different. And then That's Not Really Funny comes on, and it is different. Fresh Feeling: different than the two previous songs (although not different from previous Eels work). Woman Driving, Man Sleeping...back into Daisies territory.
And so goes Souljacker. It is obviously not an album created as "an album." Both Electro-Shock and Daisies are cohesive works (I would argue that they are one cohesive work in two sections). But what Souljacker lacks in unity, it certainly does not lack in creativity. It is almost White Album-ish in the barrage of different (but not lesser) songs it throws at every listener.
And with time, I began to like those heavier songs on the album despite my usual preference for E's Tin Pan Alley side (which, let's be honest, dominates his writing).
Some of the familiar concepts and sounds do make appearances: guarded optimism and cynical humour; vintage keyboards and bells combined with modern-era programming; clever hooks and fringe-of-society characters. But songs like Jungle Telegraph or That's Not Really Funny (or, to a lesser extent, Souljacker, pt. I and Dog Faced Boy) are a new development, and they leave that many more paints on E's palette.
And, apart from the music, the packaging and liner notes alone almost make this worth $[amount]. They're very funny.
Buy the CD. It isn't a classic. I don't even rank it as highly as Electro-Shock Blues or Daisies of the Galaxy, but it is certainly a worthy addition to both E's catalogue and your collection. It was one of the better discs released in the past year.
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Format: Audio CD
I just picked this cd up after listening to some of it at a store and am quite impressed. The songs are catchy enough and feature a lot of interesting textures from distorted guitars, awesome basslines, some dj beats, etc. Many have tried the cut-and-paste technique of mixing dj and rock elements to lesser success, but the Eels do a great job at it, making nothing but flawless rock songs. Nothing is forced. It is interesting to see John Parish working on this cd, known for his work with PJ Harvey and recently helped on Sparklehorse's latest. Parish has also done some terrific haunting film score work (the only thing I enjoyed in the European film Rosie), which I wish I could get a hold of on cd.
Songs like "Dog Faced Boy", "Fresh Feeling" and "I Write the B-Sides" are such a release. They are catchy and envigorating: meant to be turned up. E (lead singer) offers some strange and memorable stories through his lyrics, too. This album fulfills the promise I thought this band had on Beautiful Freak. Souljacker is a much more solid album, perhaps one of the year's best.
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