ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES is the ultimate example of artistic-statement-as-therapy-session. Written and recorded in the wake of the death of family and friends, the songs here are full of sorrow and bereavement, but redeemed by a self-conscious sense of black humor. The man formerly known as "E" is first and foremost a popster though, so no matter how downhearted things get (and with song titles like "Going to Your Funeral" and "The Medication is Wearing Off", this is no day at the beach) there are enough hooks to keep it all afloat. There's a sparseness to the arrangements that suits the stark nature of the subject matter, but the intimacy thus created allows ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES to communicate that much more directly. Check your razor blades at the door.