From raucous rock to alt-country Eels have always been amongst the most versatile of bands. Such eclecticism is in evidence again on their fourth proper album. It begins with harder-edged, chaotic almost-Fall like experiments such as 'Dog Faced Boy' and 'That's Not Really Funny'. 'Fresh Feeling' is an altogether more uplifting proposition which bears more than a passing resemblance to 'Odelay'-period Beck; a comparison which has overshadowed the band's creativity to date. Granted, Eels use loose, percussive beats and are wont to experiment but group leader Mark 'E' Everett provides a real injection of emotion. This was most evident on the laments on 1998's 'Electro-Shock Blues' which reflected on Everett's real-life tragedies, but 'Souljacker' contains plenty of tenderness too, none more so than on 'World Of Shit' where a simplistic - almost banal - lyric is rendered poignant thanks to its lilting melody. Music bases covered include jungle rhythms, punk, hip-hop, country, blues and hard rock this time and it's almost universally good. Hard to imagine many other bands who blend together melodies, subversion and genuine emotion and still end up smelling of roses.