My Top 1000 Songs #528: Novocaine For The Soul

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

When "Novocaine For The Soul" first landed in 1996, on Eels' debut Beautiful Freak (not counting the two albums frontman Mark Oliver Everett had previously released as A Man Called E), it felt like one of the many colorful post-grunge one-track-wonders on mid-90s alt.rock radio--a distinctive sound, unusually clever, totally of the moment, and seemingly unlikely to outlast its sonic novelty. But the song, like the album (and Eels itself), has endured, as perfectly capturing young adult angst as anything else out there but with a better hook to it. The refrain "Novocaine for the soul, before I sputter out" has always felt like a particularly pithy way of capturing that "what the hell am I supposed to do next?" grown-up pivot. And "Jesus and his lawyer are coming back"? Outstanding!

Plus, great video to boot.

Live 1997: