60. Song No. 508: “Are You & Me Gonna Happen,” E
A Man Called E, 1992
As much as I love Eels, I do not listen to Mark Oliver Everett’s earlier stuff all that much. Which is a shame because it is absolutely delightful and doesn’t deserve to be forgotten about as often as I do.
Songs like this are proof of how good he has always been. While Eels’ music tends to have a distinct and utterly charming music-box quality to it, this is much more straightforward modern pop-rock that remains as irresistible as it is accessible. And it absolutely defies the sound of its time: It could sound more at home on any Eels album from the next millennium than it would on early-’90s radio or the MTV of the time.
This song is so much of what I love about Mr. E. It’s earnest and bashful with simple lyrics, rich musicality and a universal feeling intimately personalized. And it is infinitely listenable and catchy: Earworms that are more welcome guests than unwanted loiterers grow up to be the songs I get to know and live inside so much that they feel like they’re mine.
One of my favorite unintentional benefits of alphabetical listening has been the second chance it’s given me to fall in love with so many songs I’ve missed along the way. Some of them, like Ain’t No Time, reflect how my taste has changed but I am just baffled as to how some others bypassed me completely. Like this one. This is suuuuuch a good freaking song that gets me in all the right ways, and it’s exactly the kind of song I’ve always loved. But, hey, past me hasn’t made the best decisions so it’s nice that I can at least make up for that musically. And finally fall in love with the songs I should have been smitten with and pushing on unsuspecting mix-CD recipients for years.
But, man, do I really love this song especially. A lot of the music I love is admittedly nichey and an acquired taste but this is one that I badly want to share with everyone.