Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities, and Unreleased 1996-2007 (With DVD) Best of, Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics
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See all 25 tracks on this disc
|1. Mr. E's Beautiful Remix|
|2. Souljacker Part I (Alternate Version)*|
|3. Dog Faced Boy (Alternate Version)*|
|4. Jennifer Eccles|
|5. Rotten World Blues|
|6. Can't Help Falling In Love|
See all 25 tracks on this disc
|1. Saturday Morning|
|2. Eyes Down|
|3. My Beloved Monster|
|4. A Magic World|
|5. Not Ready Yet|
|6. Souljacker part I*previously unreleased|
This DVD/CD set includes 50 tracks on CD including longtime concert favorites, previously unreleased material, covers, BBC performances, unique live version, tracks from films, and much more including the original collection title track which frontman Eve
From son of an internationally renowned physicist, to oddball post-grunge one-hit-wonder, to ongoing alt-rock sideshow curiosity you just cant shut up, to engaging diarist of life at its most interesting, imagined or indeed tormented--Mark Oliver Everett a.k.a. E a.k.a. Eels (he is effectively, for all their shape-shifting, the band incarnate) can lay reasonable claim to being one of the most notable American songwriters alive today. And given the already vast, sprawling nature of his 10-year back catalogue it will come as no surprise to discover that a few choice cuts fell between the cracks en-route. And thus, this double collection of Eels rarities, b-sides, session tracks and song re-jigs is about as delightful, if random, as any straight album hes released. Hes always had too many sides to be a square, but even so its surprising to see single songs split personalities laid bare and equally dominant here. Novocaine for the Soul appears in two pleasingly alternate guises, as spoken word sub-grunge music-box and then playful, vocoder heavy robotic-minimalism, the Shrek-soundtracking My Beloved Monster is reinvented three times over, and Susans House is reborn as suspenseful noir-hip hop in Susans Apartment. And tracks like hoarse, upbeat "Rotten World Blues", lullaby-simple "Taking a Bath in Rust" and twinkling lament Living Life are chart-toppers in any other reality. Trinkets are by definition a little useless, they serve no real purpose, yet with the aid of time the opposite often becomes true. Useless Trinkets, like Eels career, is much like that. Hold it close. --James Berry
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
You love 'em or hate 'em -- there is no middle ground. Their offbeat style of alternative rock with either soothe your soul or abrade it. I am in the former camp. I love the Eels, can't get enough of this intelligent, catchy stuff. Mark Oliver Everett (otherwise known as E) IS the Eels -- no disrespect to the other fine musicians in the band. His presence just overshadows the rest. That is not a bad thing, and the music always comes together in a way that makes it seem like it had to be just so -- all elements from vocals to instrument blend perfectly, nothing overshadowing anything else. At the center of it all is E and his raspy, emotional, insightful and intelligent lyrics. They are the glue that holds the songs together.
I digress, this is supposed to be a review of the Trinkets album. Well, all of what I just wrote still applies.
This is a wonderful collection for the fans, less so for Eels newcomers. For them I would say start with their studio albums (like Daisies of the Galaxy and Electro-Shock Blues) and fall in love with them that way. For the rest of us, this is a treasure trove of rare tracks and alternate takes that Eels fans will eat up! Not every song has the amazing production quality of the Eels studio albums, but for the most part they are quite good. Picking favorites out of the 50 collected tracks is a daunting task. If you are an Eels fan then you know different tracks will resonate more for you on different days. With each disc clocking in at around 75 minutes, there is plenty to enjoy. Live tracks are fun to hear...often getting different treatment than the studio versions. The Moog version of "Novocain for the Soul" is a favorite of mine, as is the rockier version of "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" at the beginning of disc 2 and covers like "Can't Help Falling In Love" and "I Put A Spell On You."
The presentation is wonderful, a richly designed 4-fold digipack with photos from most of the Eels eras. The accompanying book has tons of photos and concept art, and E's commentary about each of the tracks makes the experience all the more enjoyable and enlightening. Also fun is the 6 track Lollapalooza 2006 live performance DVD where the band really rocks out. The hijinks of the "security guard" is also fun to watch. It is an interesting contrast considering the Eels with Strings that was to follow.
All in all, this double CD set does an admirable job of gathering rarities from the Eels first 10 years. I would recommend it to any fan of E and the Eels. I'd also like to recommend Eels with Strings - Live at Town Hall, one of the best concert DVDs I've seen in a while. It makes a nice companion for Trinkets, and their greatest hits so far compilation, Meet the Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006, Vol. 1. New-fans should probably start with Meet the Eels before moving on to this album.
4.5 Stars. Here's looking forward to 10 more innovative years!
I own every Eels CD; I also have every "E" solo CD. So--yes, some songs in this package I already own--HOWEVER--alot of these
songs have very different arrangements (whether live or in studio): thus I feel like I'm hearing a bit of Everett's creative process--which fascinates me. I find every track in this package interesting. If you're a songwriter you can learn much from listening to Mark's music and lyrics.
"USELESS TRINKETS..." is a wonderfully put together package--I really dig the photos and notes about each song. I am also surprised how much I enjoy hearing E sing songs NOT written by him, but he makes them his own.
"Can't Help Falling In Love" (made famous by Elvis) will break your heart--in a good way--you'd think E wrote it himself: his voice and piano are
beautiful and the writer of this song would be pleased to hear E's rendition.
I LOVE THIS PACKAGE and I'm so happy I bought it. However, if you are not familiar with The Eels you may want to start with something else, (perhaps "Electro Shock Blues"). Keep 'em coming Mark! (Your book is also outstanding!)