Eels - Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) (Polydor)
UK release date: 16 May 2005
Imagine you're Mark Everett. You discovered your father's body in your teenage years. Then your sister committed suicide and your mum died of cancer. And then, on September 11 2001, your cousin was on the ill-fated plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
You'd be forgiven for just giving up on life, but instead Everett and his band Eels have created some of the must beautiful music imaginable. Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) is so perky it makes S Club 8 sound like Sisters Of Mercy. It skips along with a chorus you'll be humming for days, if not weeks.
In fact, with lyrics such as "Have you ever made love to a beautiful girl/Made you feel like it's not such a bad world" this could accurately be described as life-affirming. Essential stuff.