Editors’ Notes As a companion piece to the career-spanning ‘greatest hits’ collection, Meet the Eels, Useless Trinkets provides the road less traveled, which proves just as — if not more — intriguing. Eels, the work of Mark Oliver Everett (aka E), specialize in askew, orchestrated pop, caffeinated guitar rock and songs bemused by simple, complex and random thoughts. Trinkets collects 50(!) stray tracks, from alternate mixes (“Your Lucky Day In Hell”), alternate versions (“Souljacker Part 1,” “Dog Faced Boy”), live cuts (“Hospital Food,” “The Cheater’s Guide to Your Heart”) perfect covers (Prince’s “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell On You”) and songs provided to movie soundtracks.(“Bad News,” “Taking A Bath in Rust”), with over a dozen tunes previously unreleased. Everett’s the unusual studio technician who also excels as a live performer. His albums, studded with delicious textures, draw close attention to his sandpaper vocals, but he’s just as affecting on the live BBC recordings of “Manchester Girl” and “Flower.” 50 tracks may seem excessive, but what’s overwhelming here is the overall brilliant quality of the material. What a decade of work!

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