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The Big Dream

David Lynch: The Big Dream

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Ester Meerman
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David Lynch: The Big Dream

American filmmaker, David Lynch, is best known for his nonlinear, surrealist movies. But the enigmatic director has also had aspirations to make a name for himself as a musician. In 2009 he founded his own label, David Lynch MC, and his main focus seems to have shifted to music ever since.


The Big Dream is Lynch’s second solo album, following several collaborations and appearances on soundtracks to his own movies and TV series. On most of these older compositions, Lynch had worked with composer Angelo Badalamenti or singer Chrysta Bell, but back in 2001, he released BlueBob; a rock album on which he collaborated with John Neff. His first solo attempt, 2011‘s Crazy Clown Time, was a surprisingly catchy mix of avant-garde jazz, trip hop, electronica and modern blues. 

For Twin Peaks fans, Lynch’s solo endeavours sound exactly like you would imagine the music coming out of a jukebox at the Black Lodge to sound like. His compositions are dreamy, but in a slightly creepy way; you might not necessarily be getting a good night’s sleep out of them. Then again, what can you expect from the director of Eraserhead, Lost Highway and other utterly bizarre films?

The Big Dream pretty much picks up where Crazy Clown Time left off. With only two solo albums to his name, Lynch already seems to have created a signature style for himself. A big factor in that is his distinct voice. Lynch is not a natural born singer; his voice is nasal, and the more he tries to actually sing, instead of merely delivering the lyrics in spoken-word form, the more unstable his voice becomes. But for Lynch’s bluesy, grainy and dreamy compositions, the tone and feel of his voice works surprisingly well.

Unfortunately, The Big Dream uses similar elements to the ones that bogged down Crazy Clown Time; the repetition, the slow tempo and the fuzzy ambient padding.

Lynch covers Bob Dylan’s ‘The Balled of Hollis Brown’, although according to Lynch, it’s more a “cover of a Nina Simone cover of Bob Dylan.” Regardless, Lynch has made the song his own, with a slow-shuffle drum beat and an eerie echo to his vocals.

The album’s lead single, ‘I’m Waiting Here’ – a slow blues ditty with a jangly guitar and ethereal vocals by Lykke Li – is curiously added as a bonus track, implying that there are versions of the album available without it, which would be a shame as it serves as a good album closer and is one of the best songs on the album

The Big Dream might not be all we had dreamed it would be, yet for someone old enough to be a grandfather, it’s still a pretty cool record. 

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Angelo Badalamenti, Lykke Li, Tom Waits

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