on 10 November 2011
Whether you like David Lynch or not, one thing you have to admire is his independent spirit and vision. He has a way of making work that couldn't be made by anybody but him. His artistic vision is unique and fascinating and he appears to use whatever medium he feels is appropriate to convey his ideas.
"Crazy Clown Time" is a dark and haunting record that plays well late at night, especially if you're driving. Although this is an album of music you can't help but feel that the songs would fit really well in one of Lynch's films.
For the most part it consists of slow blues rhythms with creepy reverb heavy guitar and distorted vocals from Lynch himself. His voice, instantly recognisable, may or may not put some people off. I personally think it works really well whether he's singing or narrating his lyrics.
Some people have misleadingly mentioned this album being Lynch's attempt at dance music but this isn't the case. Certainly the single Good Day Today has a dance beat but it's too melancholic and strange to fill the dance floor. There are plenty of electronic and ambient touches throughout however but more for atmosphere than anything else.
The production is fantastic and it almost feels like the band is right there with you as you listen. The percussion, whilst slow, is really effective and surprisingly hard hitting, driving the songs along with purpose. The guitar, played by Lynch, adds drama and tension to the laid back bass lines.
Lynch will always be known as a filmmaker first and foremost but this album really stands out as something in its own right and it's a shame that some people may dismiss it as an unnecessary distraction.
If there was one criticism it would be that a few of the tracks sound similar in sound and style but there are plenty of distinctive moments to keep the interest. One review I read online basically said that if you're normally a fan of David Lynch, you'll probably like it. I tend to agree.
on 5 June 2013
Anything David Lynch has made since Lost Highway has been increasingly more and more peculiar. He has taken elements from life, elements from dream ideas, dream logic, and combined them into films that have more to do with feelings like guilt, shame, love, hate, loss, etc. What you feel and what you understand from his films is difficult to pinpoint, but Lynch makes this universe he lives in palpable, scary, yet touching in places. His album, "Crazy Clown Time" is similar to all the ideas he has about life, taking you into a strange "Twin Peaks" world with stories about teenagers, experiences, and many of his thoughts about life.
David Lynch is one of a kind. Not everyone's taste, but you will feel changed in some inexplicable way on the other side of this album.
on 7 August 2013
If you love the movies of David Lynch, and you like to put some music on in the evening and just let it take you wherever, then "Crazy Clown Time" could be just the thing for you. There's a diverse range of musical styles and the effect is as unsettling as, for example, the sudden switch to Polish dialogue in "Inland Empire", or the blue box/Silencio sequence in "Mulholland Drive". But like those films, the overall effect is rich and stimulating, and it's a CD you will find yourself playing again and again. If you want easy listening give this a miss... but if you feel ready to ride the runaway Lynch express blindfolded, check it out!
I took rather a chance on purchasing this, as although I do like much of David's work, it tends to be his film shorts I prefer best and not his larger projects. I didn't know he'd done music until I'd discovered this by chance.
I did enjoy this album. My only criticism being that many of the lyrics are undecipherable due to the sound effects (which incidentally I know is meant to be the case), but it would have been good to hear some of them as those I could make out sounded interesting.
Highlights for me are: Good Day Today, So Glad, I Know, The Night Bell With Lightning, Crazy Clown Time, These Are My Friends and Movin' Up. I liked the way `Good Day Today' faded out - somehow this was the right thing to do compared to some of the other tracks that ended abruptly. On `Football Game' (and I hope he won't mind my saying this), David sounds as if he's pi*sd! (not saying he was you understand - just describing how he sounds!) I thought `Strange And Unproductive Thinking' was `informative'!
In my opinion, ten tracks were enough here - I'd had enough by track ten, in that it was just too many... (I like my albums shorter than an hour and this is about an hour and a quarter!)
Loved the artwork in the included booklet - but didn't like the DigiPak format; I like proper cases, if only for the fact that the DigiPaks deteriorate so soon and are difficult to store...
In summing up, Mr. Lynch is probably better at his film shorts and music than he is at full length movies in my opinion.
A fascinating man.
Truth-be-told I haven't always warmed to David Lynch's cinematic visions
(although his 1977 feature debut 'Eraserhead' remains a work of dark genius).
The soundtracks to his film and TV work, however, have always fascinated me.
Like the German director Werner Herzog, music has always been an important
adjunct to his labours. 'Crazy Clown Time' is a bit of a surprise, therefore,
in a number of ways. It stands up on its own two feet without the need for
accompanying visual material and although as sombre as one might well expect
from this fearlessly left-field artist it is nonetheless both accessible and
enjoyable in equal measure. Dean Hurley has done a sterling job as producer.
There are fourteen numbers in the collection, running the gamut from near-
nightmare (the claustrophobic 'Noah's Ark') to the almost jolly (crikey you
can shake a leg to 'Good Day Today'!) Mr Lynch provides most of the vocals
himself with a little help from Yeah Yeah Yeahs' singer Karen O (heard in
fine voice on opening track 'Pinky's Dream') and he's clearly enjoying himself.
His nasal, almost-drunken, quasi-comic turn on the grinding 'Football Game' is
an absolute hoot! The guitarist, with a splendid staggering reverb-sodden
performance, seems to be vying with Mr Lynch to see who can stand up longest!
The blues seems to never be too far away in the fabric of the arrangements.
'Strange and Unproductive Thinking' bobs along on a frisky beat and sports
vocal treatments highly redolent of Laurie Anderson (a kindred maverick soul)
and the spirit of Nick Cave is not so far away in the wild-western ghost-town
instrumental 'The Night Bell With Lightening'). Title track 'Crazy Clown Time'
ranks particularly high in the weird-but-wonderful stakes; its unsettling falsetto
vocals unfolding against a four-square backbeat shot through with uneasy
twisted guitar accents and a half-heard commentary which you really wouldn't
want to intrude into your dreams on a cold November night after imbibing too
much Wild Turkey and a bucket-full of Cool Ranch-flavoured tortilla chips!
Final track 'She Rise Up' is the stuff of lonely streets and long shadows.
Whilst not being the kind of album you might want to listen to just before bedtime,
Mr Lynch's idiosyncratic musical landscapes will doubtless find their place in
the listening world and amongst the many fans of his works for the silver screen.
on 7 November 2011
That it takes a sixty five year old brilliant film maker to teach the rest of the bland formulaic money minded cretins currently suffocating the creative life out of the music industry, speaks volumes for David Lynch and is a damning indictment of what the majority of contemporary music makers are about in these X Factor and Pop Idol infested days of appallingly bland and functional dross. The 71 minutes of music on this album takes you on a journey to every place known to mankind and equally to places and experiences yet to be explored. From the lows and highs, from the sewers to heaven and back, from the gutters to the brightest stars. To Love, happiness, hell, pain, suffering, elation and misery alike, this record is a remarkable achievement even by the great mans impossibly high standards Crazy Clown time works our minds and senses relentlessly and re lives many points and places within our life times. This record breathes, sweats, bleeds and repeatedly jars the mind into thinking. All that aside, it is a truly great record from a truly great man. Lynch takes you for a 71 stroll around his surreal, brilliant and madcap sound scapes and puts the average stadium rockers well and truly on the scrap heap. High Flying birds, Snow Patrol, Coldplay?
I don't think so and Radiohead need to start looking over their shoulders, with music of this strength, depth and quality around giving us all a very overdue wake up call. This record is absolutely extraordinary in many ways, words, and weirds, and re awakens the human inner self within us,warts and all and from our dull, westernized, screen gazing, consumerist, obsessive life. Senses Working Overtime and Life Changing are just two of this extraordinary records strengths and achievements.
TRUE LIFE is rarely better portrayed than within this immense, complete and incredibly triumphant, all encompassing and real life embracing experience.
PURE GENIUS and then some. 10/10 and THE album of The Year by many a mile. ENJOY REALITY!
on 1 February 2012
David Lynch's Crazy Clown Time is extraordinary, weird, creepy, unhinged, threatening, obsessive, stalking, murderous, deep shadows of inky prussian blue, fingernails screeching on a blackboard, blood seeping under the closed door - just what you'd expect from Lynch. Look over your shoulder NOW!
This CD needs lots of space, played through big bins, shaking the lamp in the middle of the ceiling and blotting out the sound of the Police helicopter overhead, smacking you in the gut, thumping you in the chest, beating the air out of your lungs.
The first song, Pinky's Dream, is an assault on the listener. In the first two seconds, you know this song is not going to end well. And it doesn't.
If you haven't heard it, send your children to a quiet cottage in Sandwich, cancel the milk, and turn up the volume. I'll take care of your rehab later.
on 28 January 2012
I'm not adept at reviewing music in the mold of Q magazine but at face value, this album is such a gem from the first sample. Having expected a mish-mash of surrealistic sound effects, I was delighted to find something so quintessentially Lynchian, yet very accessible for the casual listener. Imaging the music of Twin Peaks merged with Wild at Heart, add some heart, touching melodies and the voice of the great man, who can't sing, but rather talks his lyrics. Who would have thought that a man who has graced the screen with some of the most imaginative and striking images would enter the studio to produce his own album. Could this be a first for a film director (by trade) to become a successful musician? You gotta love the audacity of Lynch. An analogue treasure in our flimsy digi-age!
on 19 December 2011
As a long time Lynch fan, I was somewhat sceptical about the coolest director of all time releasing an album with his own vocals singing and writing lyrics.
As it stands, Crazy Clown Time is by far the most magical, dark, beautiful, esoteric and hypnotic album of the year. And in my honest opinion, the best. It's certainly one of the best produced.
Remember the Radiohead 'album' that came out this year? Well, frankly that's kind of lame in terms of avant garde experimental music in comparison. It was a huge let down, for many Radiohead fans. As an EP, it was certainly interesting, but they haven't made any follow ups to it of yet, as there are rumors there were going to be in parts.
This is a truly remarkable album, but to be frank, it does help to be a fan of his films. If your not, your missing out on something very special.
Lynch has really proven now to be by far one of the most interesting and unique visionaries of our time, and the most surprising. Truth be told, as a 'singer' he's not one to reach the high notes and low notes with exact perfection, if at all. In fact, his singing on the track 'Good Day' (the most accessible track on the album, but to me it sounds far too chart) is somewhat questionable. But that's besides the point. It's the character in the voice that matters. The lead singer of Captain Beefheart and Ian Curtis of Joy Division, weren't exactly great singers either, but within the context of the musicianship and the sounds the band create, it becomes a true tour de force (Forget Simon Cowell's opinions of what a true singer should sound like, able to hit the lows and highs with a voice strong enough to penetrate large arenas because he's just an idiot who knows nothing).
What really surprised me is how great a lyricist Lynch is. Maybe he always has been, but it's never been so noticeable.
'Strange and Unproductive thinking' is like old school Kraftwerk, with robotiziced vocals and Lynch in full on cosmic/weird/quirky mode, talking about the future and the cosmos's and phenomenons, only to turn it into a parody at the end in which he talks about how everything is linked with 'teeth and mouths and dentists' (typical of the directors sense of humour). Stones Gone Up is the albums pop highlight, sounding somewhat similar to Billy Idols 'White Wedding' at the start, before a sweepingly catchy and memorably addictive chorus kicks in, and ending on a note of deep euphoria. It's the kind of song you never want to end, and you can never seem to get out of your head.
Track title 'Crazy Clown Time' is almost an audio description of the infamous nightclub sequence in Fire Walk with Me that has no audible dialogue, with the music sounding very, very similar, and is easily the most perverse and unnerving track on the album, with Lynch singing in a child like voice about 'Susy taking her shirt off completely, and Danny pouring beer all over Sally', complete with female orgasms in the background. 'Danny screams so loud that he spits'. I could swear that when I heard it, I was IN that club!
But what makes this album so great, is that it works as an expansion of Lynch's other works. The album closer, 'She Rise Up', is unbelievable sad, yet extraordinarily beautiful. Movin' On also has a deep sense of longing for lost love, proving the artist at his most bitter and vulnerable. Both are perhaps the most amazing and euphoric ballads of the year, but it's with 'She Rises Up' in which you feel as though you have entered the gates of heaven after such a strange and wonderful journey. You don't even need to be a fan to know that this is a very special and stunningly crafted ballad.
You also feel incredibly cool just listening to it.
Yes, there are comparisons with Portishead and Mazzy Starr in places (with even a touch of Mogwai), but that was pretty inevitable, as when I first heard Dummy back in the 90s, it made me think it was a vocal soundtrack to a Lynch movie, with a smoky noir atmosphere, twangy guitars, and the Western bluesy like bass lines, so reminiscent of Angelo Badalamenti's works on Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart. Seeing as Lynch was also something of a musician, it makes me think that perhaps he had a hand with Anjelo's soundtracks. This is mostly noticeable on the track 'I Know', which sounds VERY Portishead.
Needless to say, this is all really good news for Lynch fans, as it's the artists musical take on what might be one of his actual feature films. It takes your mind into strange, dark, disturbing and very beautiful places.
I just hopes he releases more albums, and that this isn't just a 'one off'. There's just too much promise and talent at work.
on 15 July 2013
its like listening the twin peaks but without all the fluffy stuff its just gorgeous
Looking forward to the next one