October 23, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A-

If you thought cancer was a topic best left to Russian playwrights and Swedish filmmakers, think again. Eels’ Electro-Shock Blues is oddly moving and surprisingly accessible. Written after frontman E’s mother was diagnosed with the disease, it lays bare the horrors of terminal illness in songs that shift from clinical to disconsolate. But the real feat is in making death life-affirming: You’ll hum along even as you recoil in disgust. A-

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