x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

David Lynch's The Big Dream offers lightly electronic blues grooves

Lynch's second solo album is eerie and nocturnal, just like his films.

David Lynch
The Big Dream
Sunday Best
***

With his film directing career apparently on pause, America's wizard of weirdness is keeping busy with multiple creative projects, including a long-running musical sideline.

Arriving barely 18 months after Crazy Clown Time, David Lynch's second solo album is billed as a progression, though the recording process and musical ingredients are much the same.

Built around loose studio jams with the producer Dean Hurley, most of these tracks are lightly electronic blues grooves with impressionistic lyrics sung in Lynch's distinctive but limited voice.

A mournful trudge through Bob Dylan's bleak Ballad of Hollis Brown pays oblique homage to Nina Simone's previous cover, but otherwise Tom Waits is the most obvious influence on scratchy trip-hop shuffles such as Star Dream Girl and Cold Wind Blowing.

The crossover with Lynch's films is subtle but palpable: both inhabit an eerie, nocturnal, alternative America where melancholy strangeness lurks.

The album's slow pace drags in places but the chemistry really works on the sumptuous heartache ballads The Line It Curves and Are You Sure, and especially on I'm Waiting Here, a sleepy-sad waltz featuring the Swedish noir-pop siren Lykke Li.

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