The Eels' seventh studio album is a showcase for the songwriting dexterity of Mark Oliver Everett, known to his fans as "E."
E begins the record in garage-rock mode, howling his way through a profession of boyfriend bravado: "I'm a don't do it wrong, do it righter. I'm a prizefighter."
He changes gears immediately on "That Look You Give That Guy." The song is a steady-tempo, gentle ballad that declares would-be faithfulness to a wished-for lover.
The gem here is "My Timing Is Off." It's a disarming statement of acceptance about the profound sadness of unrequited love: "Sometimes that's how it all works / believe it or not / we don't have a choice in matters of the heart."
From "Fresh Feeling" to "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues," Everett has made some of the most gorgeous pop songs of the past two decades. Hombre Lobo is a reminder of his artistic significance.