Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alphanumeric: Hello Cruel World

E: Hello Cruel World


Mark Oliver Everett may have wanted to escape the shadow of his father, physicist Hugh Everett III when he began his musical career. Maybe that’s why he decided to simply call himself E. I must say, however, that I doubt that many music fans would have made the connection; I had to look it up. Regardless, E it was, and E it remained when he later formed the band Eels. The music of Eels had a darker sound, but E as a solo artist was a master of pop hooks. Hello Cruel World sounds like it should have been a major hit until you listen to the lyrics. The song sets out a series of somewhat surreal scenarios, connected tenuously at best. The writing contains great imagery, and a slide show goes by in my head whenever I hear the song. I don’t claim to be an expert on the music of Eels, but I have never heard anything of theirs that affects me in the same way.

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