On his last disc, 2001's Invisible Man, Eitzel made a turn toward a different sort of genre-bending. Tapping into the trickery of electronic gadgetry, Eitzel discovered that he can wander through the valley of the shadow of dots and loops as hauntingly and moodily as Nick Cave wallows in morose piano and violin accompaniment. And it lends Eitzel's melancholic angst a butterfly-like briskness that he's rarely displayed before: Think of the lush, torch-song ornamentation of Elvis Costello's Imperial Bedroom, and you'll be on the right track to placing Invisible Man in Eitzel's solo career.
Earlier this year Eitzel returned with a cover album, Music for Courage and Confidence, and he's since hit the road, where he will continue to try to break out of AMC's shadow and into a more compelling spotlight as a solo artist. And that's a promise to raise a glass to.