New Music: David Lynch – The Big Dream


David LynchThe Big Dream

2.5-BamsTop Tracks:
“Star Dream Girl”
“Last Call”
“Say It”

Album Highlights:Naturally one to push creative boundaries, renaissance man David Lynch gets surprisingly lo-fi on his new 2013 album, The Big Dream. Notwithstanding his flair for the experimental, he pairs many contrasting elements that would have had the compatibility of oil and water if the album had not been a David Lynch production. On his eighth studio album — a stark contrast from his electro pop 2011 release Crazy Clown Time — Lynch takes a turn for the opiate, churning his signature synthesized vocal narratives into molasses paced rhythm and blues sections. Possessing the quality of a ketamine induced honky tonk, Lynch plays with elements of doo wop, country and blues while incorporating drum machines and ear drum rattling bass, because well…he can.

Vocals remain at the forefront of the each track and speak more as monologues rather than lyrics. Similar to that of Lou Reed, Les Claypool or Gibby Haines of Butthole Surfer fame, Lynch talk-sings through the entire record in his vaguely auto-tuned staccato-paced drone. Ranging from provocative on standout tracks like “Say It” and “Star Dream Girl” to nearly incomprehensible on the bluesy freak out jam “Sun Can’t Be Seen No More”, Lynch keeps the journey interesting, yet cohesive. Considering the inclusion of curve ball tracks like the bass heavy “Last Call” that almost have a trap vibe to it, the unified nature of this album is impressive. It Proves yet again that the artistic stamp of David Lynch is something that’s poignant enough to genre-bend with incomparable ease.

Album Lowlight: Although The Big Dream does accomplish a great feat in finding an audio space to combine such abstract musical elements, it also conversely detracts from the listening experience a bit. The album transitions effortlessly from one track to the next, however at points becomes convoluted due to Lynch’s staple vocal style. The Big Dream has a charming garage rock appeal and is unique in its production quality, but at times can be boring due to how consistent it remains throughout. The title track does little to pull in the listener and sets an indifferent pace for the rest of the record. This album has great moments that invoke a sense of nostalgia for fans of Lynch’s early work and rock purists alike, however it won’t be blowing the minds of music critics anticipating a characteristically ostentatious David Lynch.

Takeaway: At this point in his eclectic career, Lynch knows he can do just about whatever he wants successfully, a trait that allows him to take such creative risks with reckless abandon. It’s also a key element in how cohesively this album actually comes together despite its abstract musical content. In The Big Dream, we see a rather reserved effort by David Lynch, bringing his Midas Touch to the world of rhythm and blues. Incorporating contemporary bass lines and drum machines, Lynch makes a conscious effort to remain relevant enough for airplay but without compromising his integrity as a master of kitsch. Bringing old school fans back to awkward scenes in the Twin Peaks roadhouse, Lynch keeps things entertainingly cryptic in a way that only he can do.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: