Eels with Strings

Live at Town Hall


Eels with Strings
Live at Town Hall
(Vagrant)
MTV Unplugged established a useful test to see what pop-rock songwriters could translate to a stripped- down environment. These records often involved other stringed instruments, mainly the cello, or whole sections to augment the six-string acoustic guitars. Today, Eels would surely pass the test. The band, fronted by E (Mark Oliver Everett), has, over several albums, produced songs of rich arrangement, instrumentation, real and relatable emotion — all honest and without pretension. These songs are built for a hallowed concert hall and mini-orchestral treatment. It’s not as far a stretch for this band to reinterpret its tunes, but “Flyswatter,” “Bus Stop Boxer” and “Blinking Lights” are just three examples of how much gorgeous stuff goes on in Eels songs.
—Sean Flinn

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