Album Review

The Big Dream

The Big Dream

by David Lynch

6.5 / 10
31st July 2013

Reviewed by Hayden Pyke

David Lynch is always a surprise. Whether you’ve just sat through his three hour epic Inland Empire and come away without answers or when you realise he lends his voice to the character Gus in The Cleveland Show; Lynch defies pigeonholing. His on screen work pushes boundaries, emotions and audiences around as he continues to provide a unique perspective. His second solo studio album, The Big Dream, proves that musically he is just as hard to pin down.

The album opens with the title track that rightly posits the album’s affronting blend of eletro-pop and spacey blues at the forefront of Lynch’s sound. The song evokes feelings and responses common to Lynch’s work such as isolation and paranoia, but there is a positive tinge intermingled there too. ‘Wishin’ Well’ too has lashings of hope filtering through the probing beats and bionic haze. But it is ‘Star Dream Girl’ that proves the most upbeat, Lynch’s vocals duck and weave through industrial sonics making for, surprisingly, a real toe tapper.

The tempo of the album moves within a restricted range and the tone too seems constrained. It plays out much like a Lynch film, provoking, haunting and full of surrealist dreamscapes. There are dark ideas weaved between mundane lines like “going down to the ice cream store” in ‘We Rolled Together’. But unlike Lynch’s mastery with the camera, this music lacks his beautiful touches of colour and his twists and turns.

There are plenty of songs that will grab at those interested in his soundtrack work with Angelo Badalamenti and his cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Ballad of Hollis Brown’ is likely to raise a few eyebrows, but unfortunately there is not enough pushing this album forward. It may well be that it forms another piece of the ever-sprawling Lynch puzzle and needs to be heard as an accompaniment to his other work. But standing alone, this music has a coldness to it; a distance between the creator and the audience that feels too hard to cross and does not offer enough incentive to do so.

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