Can a ‘breakup’ album mean anything significant to a happily married man? Are those of us without relationship troubles getting everything out of a work such as this? Years ago, during a somewhat tumultuous period of my life, I discovered the Eels album Electro Shock Blues. Never before, or since, has an album meant so much to me. Every word and note was intense, moving, and uplifting, all at the same time, and it remains the best album I have ever heard. I can’t help but wonder, therefore, had End Times been released back then, whether it would’ve had a similar resonance? As it is, End Times is very good. The lyrics are heart wrenching, E’s voice is as raw and vulnerable as ever and the sparse arrangements are superbly considered (the majority of the album was recorded on a 4-track in E’s basement). I really like End Times, but don’t love it. Maybe in time I will. After all, it took me over four years to realise just how brilliant Blinking Lights is, so maybe End Times just isn’t for me right now.