BLINKING LIGHTS AND OTHER REVELATIONS (5/5) This is the best album I've heard in a long, long time. Blinking Lights And Other Revelations shows E (Mark Everett) once again displaying his uncanny ability to take depressing subject matter and make it uplifting and hopeful. A concise and consistently moving album, every song brings something unique to the table, ranging from the serene [Blinking Lights (For You)] to the epic (The Other Shoe) to the downright hilarious (Going Fetal), all cloaked in a warm pop blanket. By the time it all ends with the shimmering closer Things The Grandchildren Should Know, you'll already know what a masterpiece this album is. If you've ever been a fan of Eels, this is the one you've been waiting for. CJM
  SET YOURSELF ON FIRE (3.5/5) Since everyone and their mom listen to The Postal Service these days, people looking for something new should definitely check out this one. Besides the obvious Postal Service comparison, silmarities can be drawn between this and Death Cab For Cutie, Silver Scooter, and Rainer Maria, among others. Despite some inconsistencies, like good songs having really silly choruses (cue Reunion) and the occasional just-plain-bad song (the bland The Big Fight or the abrasive He Lied About Death) the album is very good as a whole, if you're into this brand of extremely bright pop. Starting out strong with the first few songs (Ageless Beauty is definitely a keeper), as it goes on, Set Yourself On Fire starts to overstay its welcome a little, and makes you want to go back to some good death metal. CJM
  A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE (5/5) Do like rap and hip-hop? Yeah, I don't really either, but I love this album. Mike Skinner's sophomore effort sees him taking what he did with Original Pirate Material and expanding and focussing his skills into a wonderful little concept album. This is the first album I've heard that has an actual plot, and the fun comes in listening to each song in order to figure out what the hell is going to happen next to this very funny Englishman. Mike's lyrical delivery is akin to a character from the movie Snatch having to awkwardly read some poetry in a classroom, but it totally works and makes listening to the album very entertaining. He sings about cell-phone text-messages, his wavering trust in his friends, and the uncomplicated happiness of watching TV with his girlfriend whilst smoking pot; by the end, his simple endearing honesty will have you rooting for him while his life's problems come to a surprisingly moving conclusion. A Grand Don't Come For Free will be an album you find yourself coming back to again and again, and each time you'll take something new away from it. CJM