Blinking Lights and Other Revelations

Studio Album by released in 2005
Blinking Lights and Other Revelations's tracklist:
Theme From Blinking Lights
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From Which I Came / A Magic World
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Son of a Bitch
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Blinking Lights (For Me)
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Trouble With Dreams
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Marie Floating Over the Backyard
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Suicide Life
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In the Yard, Behind the Church
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Railroad Man
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The Other Shoe
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Last Time We Spoke
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Mother Mary
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Going Fetal
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Understanding Salesmen
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Theme for a Pretty Girl That Makes You Believe God Exists
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Checkout Blues
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Blinking Lights (For You)
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Dust of Ages
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Old Shit/New Shit
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Bride of Theme From Blinking Lights
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Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)
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I'm Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart
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To Lick Your Boots
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If You See Natalie
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Sweet Li'l Thing
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Dusk: A Peach in the Orchard
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Whatever Happened to Soy Bomb
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Ugly Love
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God's Silence
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Losing Streak
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Last Days of My Bitter Heart
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The Stars Shine in the Sky Tonight
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Things the Grandchildren Should Know
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Blinking Lights and Other Revelations review

Although marketed as a band, the leader and focus of alt-rockers Eels is undeniably singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist E (real name Mark Oliver Everett). Spanning 33 tracks, Mark Everett's sixth Eels album Blinking Lights and Other Revelations is both the master thesis of Everett's musical expression (though his deadpan crotchety singing style can be a hurdle for the uninitiated listener) and an unflinchingly candid cradle-to-grave assessment of a life jointly touched by heartbreaking tragedy and transcendent joy. The psychedelic sounds (from groovy organ peels to autoharp) of Everett's birth decade, the 1960s, and trendier, electronically treated production techniques intermingle throughout. Blinking Lights and Other Revelations is an astonishing melange of life and sound cycles, as much about the ghosts of the past as it is an optimistic hedge toward a pensioner’s age bracket Everett clearly endeavors to appreciate.

While Everett spends the greater part of Blinking Lights and Other Revelations’ first half wrestling with the difficulties of his youth and reexamining excruciating personal tragedies, he also interweaves more universal themes, like a young couple frolicking in a graveyard (the nostalgia-tinted In The Yard, Behind the Church) and the demise of the American railway system (the philosophically resigned Railroad Man). He even finds time to work in a sardonically delightful dance number, Going Fetal, featuring a signature vocal solo by the inimitable Tom Waits, and successfully recycles the opening section of Daisies of the Galaxy’s Flyswatter, thanks to a ticking clock and a harder beat, on the conspicuous Trouble with Dreams. Upbeat flashes cast longer shadows across the bulk of rock-bottom feelings - Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) and Old Shit, New Shit are standout singles - but much of Blinking Lights and Other Revelations remains rooted in soulful misery and mourning. Musically, he's covering a lot of ground and he effectively uses everything from folk and rock to jazz and country to paint a vivid picture of the defining moments from his childhood and adolescence.

According to Mark "E" Everett, there are two kinds of Christmas people: those who like their lights to stay solid, and those who like them to blink at random. Blinking Lights and Other Revelations is a celebration of these small moments that give our lives meaning. If 1998’s Electro-Shock Blues reflected Everett confronting the immediacy of loss (his older sister, Elizabeth, committed suicide two years earlier and his mother, Nancy, whose girlhood image graces the cover of Blinking Lights, subsequently lost a battle with cancer) – exposing a fresh wound that hadn’t been properly dressed – Blinking Lights and Other Revelations benefits from the perspective of years and an acute understanding that, while no one gets dealt a perfect hand in life, that doesn’t mean a person should give up trying to make the best of what he’s got. You can feel the care and commitment that has gone into making this album a reality. What we have here is man who has seen a lot and been through too much, yet still believes that there has got to be a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

(26.07.2005)
Rate review4.36
Total votes - 11