Hombre Lobo

Eels

Hombre Lobo

The seventh studio album from Eels, Hombre Lobo (“wolf-man” in Spanish) is a collection threaded together — as the subtitle indicates — by the boundless topic of desire. The twist here is that the protagonist is the character of “Dog Faced Boy,” the hirsute subject of a 2001 track from the mind of Eels’ front guy and writer, E (Mark Oliver Everett). The dog-boy has grown up, and becomes the voice for E’s musings on unfulfilled desire and longing; it’s a lonely voice, and in the best of Eels style (say, Souljacker, home of “Dog Faced Boy”), it digs into the topic at hand with a variety of styles, each one superbly executed. A hollow melancholy lurks in the quiet spaces of pained confessionals like the stellar “The Longing” (and E’s personal favorite, “That Look You Gave That Guy”), while a simmering anxiety implodes in jolts of grimy, blues-inspired howling on tracks like “Prizefighter” and “Tremendous Dynamite.” The panting, hormone-fueled “What’s a Fella Gotta Do” and the stealthy, downtempo “Fresh Blood” are as far from the sweetly lulling “In My Dreams” as one can imagine, yet they all carry equal weight.

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