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Eels, Wonderful, Glorious (Vagrant)

In 2008, Mark Oliver Everett (the man known as E and boss of the Eels brand) cleaned out the cupboards with the Meet The Eels greatest hits collection and Useless Trinkets B-sides and rarities package.

That left him free to knock out three new albums in little over a year, each distinctly different but – as a "concept trilogy" containing 48 tracks – rather a lot to properly digest.

After a much-needed breather, Wonderful, Glorious comes within a chin whisker of copying the formula set in 2009 by Hombre Lobo. It does, however, have a stronger sense of itself as a separate album and of Eels being an ensemble rock band again, not a solo auteur helped out by a handful of mates.

Right from the start, on Bombs Away, E's distorted vocals are double-tracked and set wide apart in the stereo mix, the space between filled with fat, fuzzy blues guitars.

Peach Blossoms, New Alphabet and Stick Around also throw a gauntlet at the feet of The Black Keys, but it's when The Turnaround sends E back into shimmering heartache mode that you know Eels haven't lost their spine-tingling ability to break grown men's hearts.

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