Beautiful Freak

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Beautiful Freak
Studio album by Eels
Released August 13, 1996
Recorded 1996
Genre Alternative rock, indie pop
Length 43:53
Language English
Label DreamWorks
Producer Jon Brion, E, Mark Goldenberg, Michael Simpson
Eels chronology
Beautiful Freak
Electro-Shock Blues
Singles from Beautiful Freak
  1. "Novocaine for the Soul"
    Released: February 3, 1996
  2. "Susan's House"
    Released: May 5, 1996
  3. "Rags to Rags"
    Released: 1996
  4. "Your Lucky Day in Hell"
    Released: September 1, 1996
  5. "Beautiful Freak"
    Released: 1997

Beautiful Freak is the debut studio album by American alternative rock band Eels. It was released on 13 August 1996 and was the first record released by record label DreamWorks.


Beautiful Freak is largely the solo work of musician Mark Oliver Everett, and is his first album using the full band name Eels in an attempt to get the records in the same general location in the stores as his previous works under the name "E".[1] The album is produced by E, Jon Brion, Mark Goldenberg and Michael Simpson.

Album cover[edit]

Everett had suggested having a little girl with big eyes on the cover.[citation needed] The girl that came in to have her picture taken, Elle Brosh, incidentally looked "like a miniature Susan" to Everett, a girlfriend of his a few years before and the subject of the song "Susan's House".[1]


Beautiful Freak was released on August 13, 1996 by record label DreamWorks. The album peaked at number 5 on the UK Albums Chart.[2]

The April 14, 1997 German release of the album included a bonus live EP from a BBC recording session.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (dud)[4]
Entertainment Weekly B[5]

Ethan Smith of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "The Eels' postgrunge pop melodies and quirky, intelligent production make for catchy modern rock that's miles ahead of the competition. However, singer-guitarist-keyboardist E's attempts at warts-and-all portrayals of urban life come off as a disingenuous, arty pose [...] A little less pretension would get these guys a lot further."[5]

In his retrospective review, James Chrispell of AllMusic wrote: "Concise pop tunes form the backbone of the album, yet tinges of despair and downright meanness surface just when you've been lulled into thinking this is another pop group".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Mark Oliver Everett, except as noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Novocaine for the Soul"   Everett, Mark Goldenberg 3:08
2. "Susan's House"   Everett, Jim Jacobsen, Jim Weatherly 3:43
3. "Rags to Rags"     3:53
4. "Beautiful Freak"     3:34
5. "Not Ready Yet"   Everett, Jon Brion 4:46
6. "My Beloved Monster"     2:13
7. "Flower"   Everett and Jacobsen 3:38
8. "Guest List"     3:13
9. "Mental"     4:01
10. "Spunky"     3:11
11. "Your Lucky Day in Hell"   Everett, Goldenberg 4:28
12. "Manchild"   Everett, Jill Sobule 4:05

  • "Novocaine For The Soul" contains samples of "Let the Four Winds Blow" by Fats Domino
  • "Susan's House" contains sample of "Love Finds Its Own Way" by Gladys Knight & the Pips
  • "Guest List" contains sample of "I like it" by The Emotions
  • "Flower" contains sample of "I'm Glad You're Mine" by Al Green


Additional musicians


  1. ^ a b Everett, Mark Oliver (2008). Things the Grandchildren Should Know. Little, Brown. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-316-02787-8. 
  2. ^ "Eels | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Chrispell, James. "Beautiful Freak – Eels | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Eels". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Smith, Ethan (October 11, 1996). "[Beautiful Freak review]". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2013.