Click the stars below
albums and tracks
Eels - Hombre Lobo
Mark Oliver Everett - an obstinate old eccentric if there ever was one. As likely to throw out an amazing pop-fuelled lick of blues rock as an unfathomable, self-indulgent slice of introspection, trying to predict the next tune to drop from his guitar isn't an easy task.
And just to prove it, here's Hombre Lobo, which takes its name from the Spanish for "wolf man", yet is anything but scary. In fact, it's a collection of intriguing, inviting songs that's his most accessible to date.
That's less surprising than it should be when you consider that this is an album that Mark, or Mr E as he's more commonly known, freely admits is about desire in its most beautiful and guttural forms.
It truly does take in every aspect of the emotion. 'In My Dreams', for example, is as beautiful and blissful as anything he's ever produced, while one track later, 'Tremendous Dynamite' has a filthy punch that will make Grinderman a little jealous.
Nick Cave's not the only one who'll be envious after a listen - Beck will be greening up too, as both the funky and free-wheeling 'Lilac Breeze' and 'Fresh Blood''s howling tautness are better than anything the LA folkster has done in recent years.
In fact, Hombre Lobo barely sets a foot wrong. Only the simplistic 'Beginner's Luck' lacks the raw passion and subtle finesse of the rest of the album, though even that redeems itself to a certain extent thanks to its ramshackle, overdriven finale.
So expect the unexpected and enjoy the eccentricity of Mr E. Seven albums in, he's as thrillingly unpredictable as he ever has been - and that stubbornness has produced his best album to date.