E is not a happy man. His band Eels' biggest hit was "Novocaine for the Soul," a catchy song that was nonetheless kind of a downer, and record number two, Electro-Shock Blues, was a concept record about cancer that mixed danceable beats with somber lyrics. By contrast, Daisies of the Galaxy offers a glimpse at E's lighter side. He's still grumpy, but he uses sarcasm to snipe at his targets rather than confront them directly. In the hands of a lesser songwriter, this might result in horrible, self-indulgent songs, but E's clever enough to succeed with this formula. He uses his eye for detail to turn out bitter couplets that are sung with a deceptively upward lilt. The music, accented by horns and strings, is also brighter than the band's previous output, giving much of the album a warm and inviting acoustic feel that only occasionally hints at the venom lurking in the lyrics. No, E is not a happy man, but his sorrow can't be attributed to any inadequacies in this high-quality effort.