As a man called E and a band called Eels, Mark Oliver Everett has done a lot of things, but it’s all been based on pure melody. For his umpteenth record, Earth to Dora, Everett has stripped down to those sweet sounds, for a simple but actually well-timed album.
This is not the Eels that had full orchestral accompaniment, or was into synthesizers long before everyone else was. Instead, Everett sticks to the charming little ditties of his more recent years (having a child seems to have influenced him), with songs like opener “Anything For Boo”, the smiling title track, and the relaxed & enjoyable “Baby Let’s Make It Real” (QRO review). This does mean that the songs largely sound similar, with only relative outliers like the bigger Eels “I Got Hurt” and the great take that is both wry and actually hurt, “Are You Fucking Your Ex”.
Earth to Dora is no revelation or bold statement, but the simple sweetness does ring nicely in these very trying times (it was written before the COVID breakout – but also before the recent relief election). So, while we all go into our latest lockdown, have a smile with E & Dora.