Desperation—and Hope—Shine Through on Eels’ Latest

The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
E Works/Pias

The latest in his ongoing series of unsparing self-portraits, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett follows a familiar formula, but is deeply affecting regardless. Everett’s lovely chamber-pop ballads (plus the occasional rocker) offer candid snapshots of his psychic wounds, often self-inflicted, made all the more poignant by his gruff yet tender voice, suggesting a confused yet well-meaning soul struggling to achieve a more enlightened state.

If the desperation and neediness of songs like “Agatha Chang” and “Series of Misunderstandings” can verge on uncomfortable, Everett also tries to strike a note of hope amid the lamentations. Confirmed Eels fans will want to spring for the two-disc edition, featuring some perfectly good leftovers and live cuts, including a rousing and surprisingly faithful cover of the early Fleetwood Mac classic “Oh Well.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend