Though I’m a long-standing devotee, the project’s 11th album and I got off on the wrong foot. Granted, I dove in feeling swamped already by the sheer quantity of albums Eels
have recently released (this marks a total of five in five years) and naturally wanted to flip through the songs of Performs the Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
as one would the pages of a hand-drawn comic flip book — quickly and furiously. However, with every turn of the “page,” another frame flipped by depicting a rapidly dropping 10-ton Acme weight (followed by an imaginary sad trombone backing track). I was drowning from a surface listen like the character outlined by Nin — gasping for air underneath it all.