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Crazy Clown Time
David Lynch Crazy Clown Time
Released 4 November 2011
Producer David Lynch
Label Sunday Best Recordings
Length 68:42
Genre Alt rock, electro pop
Website davidlynch.com

David Lynch has never been one for convention, with a back catalogue of work that includes such confusing and downright weird entries as Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead he is the very antithesis of the Hollywood blockbuster director. To hear he has put together an album of original recordings is not a surprise (he has dabbled in the composing of music for his films) but the anticipation of what form this album is going to take is intriguing; can he play it straight or is this going to be a trippy dream-like album with backward talking dwarves? His track record is definitely cause for some concern.

The album begins with a splash of surf guitar on the surprisingly normal 'Pinky’s Dream'. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s is on vocal duty and gives a suitably sultry and enigmatic performance that matches the mood of Lynch’s music. The mixture of the surf music of his youth and an edgier, more contemporary, atmosphere proves to be a potent combination and earlier misgivings and suspicions seem a little unfair.

But it was never going to be that straightforward.

What follows is a strange mish-mash of Avant-Garde experimentation and vocoder shenanigans perpetrated by Lynch. He tends to adopt one of two vocal styles throughout the album, the first being a low rent Kraftwerk robot spouting quasi philosophical nonsense as shown on 'Good Day Today' and the extremely cringe worthy 'Strange And Unproductive Thinking'. The second voice sounds like a drunken jilted lover leaving barely coherent messages on his ex’s answering machine, a voice that is used to extremely strange effect on 'Football Game', 'I Know' or 'So Glad'. Why Lynch thought it a good idea to use either voice is beyond me but by the end of the album both were severely grating on me.

Musically, Lynch returns regularly to the surf rock style that served him well in the opening track but the grooves are quite repetitive and dull and can’t quite replicate the magic of 'Pinky’s Dream'. He spices it up from time to time with some electro dance beats but again these fail to capture the imagination and the lack of any remotely innovative sounds makes it even harder to ignore Lynch’s below par lyrics.

Perhaps, like Lynch’s movies, you need to be of a certain disposition to enjoy this album but Crazy Clown Time didn’t do a whole lot for me. The album started out quite promising and had Lynch followed the initial blueprint and enlisted some further guest stars to counter balance his experimentation we may have had a much better album. Lynch has amassed a personal fortune and a level of fame that has allowed him to make a self indulgent album but personally I think he should stick to the day job.

- Brian Kinsella