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Customer Review

1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hey, jump on the bandwagon and pretend this is talent..., 6 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Yip Jump Music (Audio CD)
Having heard Daniel Johnston namedropped incessantly over the last 10 years, when I finally got round to listening to one of his albums (this one) I became really concerned as to what people deem to be quality music and talent.

Actually that was after I broke down into fits of laughter at how completely ridiculous this album is. Talk about emperors new clothes! If David Bowie, Kurt Cobain and Thurston Moore say you're great then obviously you wouldn't be cool if you didn't agree, right?

So I'm supposed to feel the pain here? Well I do, but obviously not in the same way other that the other reviewers here do. Sounds like someone singing like a five year old to me. The stripped down simplicity of his 'songwriting'? Sounds like someone who can barely play at all.

I'd compare Daniel Johnston to Syd Barrett - but the difference is that Barrett had the talent there in the first place.

I'm aware (having seen the 'Devil and Daniel Johnston') that this guy has had a problematic existence, but does that make his musical efforts any more deserving of the praise they've garnered? I'm sure there are plenty of troubled souls out there who have mucked around recording themselves on old tape machines. The difference is that Johnston was precocious and narcissistic enough to think other people wanted to hear this drivel.

I only wish that his tape machine had broken a long time ago so I would never have to hear that appalling piano playing and squeaky 'stoopid' baby voice ever again...

Avoid this album, unless you've already believed the hype (or you just like really annoying music)...
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jan 2008 18:36:12 GMT
Peter Renton says:
I reckon you could check out "Fear Yourself." It's pretty much the only album of his I can stomach all the way through. It is written with and produced by MArk Linklous, e.d. Sparklehorse, and really steps the songs up a notch, as there is someone to weed out the terrible songs like "I Picture Myself With A Guitar."

Posted on 20 May 2008 13:44:42 BDT
Brandt says:
erm, yeah and about your point about Syd Barret 'having the talent in the first place', you should check out Johnstons earliest recordings on 'Songs of Pain' 80-83. Lo-Fi yes, but the compositions and piano playing are of a very high standard, its quite spooky actually. After this period, he started to play the guitar and the music became a lot more limited in scope (with the odd stone cold classic here and there of course!). I do agree though, Fear Yourself is a beaut of an album, an amazing choice of collaborator, you should check it out if you haven't already. It puts the people who pretend to be Johnston (Wayne Coyne, I'm talking to you) in the shade......

Posted on 13 May 2010 12:47:34 BDT
it never ceases to bore me that people who have limited aesthetic acumen have to insist that everyone else is deluded,or desperate in their desire to be cool.i bet you hate trout mask replica too.just accept that youre a normal jackjill with no understanding of art,of giving voice to the soul.keep on writing reviews on amazon, bub,you are truly the voice of the silent majority.

Posted on 3 Dec 2011 01:57:10 GMT
Chris says:
It's ironic that you slam people for jumping on bandwagons, when you're jumping on the bandwagon on the other side of the road. You're suffering from a dreadful case of backlash syndrome. You admit in your review that you had to suffer 10 years of hype., so you were plenty ready to find fault with Daniel. And if you look for it, there's plenty of faults to be found. If you listen with a completely untainted open mind, there's plenty of greatness there too.
The only people who can have a truly unbiased opinion of his music are those who never heard a thing about him before hearing it. I'm one. I stumbled upon him on Jango. I grabbed all his stuff. He kept me wrapped all night with his great talent. My opinion owed nothing to hype. Can't say the same for yours.

Posted on 23 Oct 2013 08:57:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Oct 2013 09:21:53 BDT
OliFeelie says:
if you did watch the documentary from 2005 then i'd thought you'd be able to see that it might be the things he's done, the people he's met and the life he's lived that's made him so popular. I think a lot of famous & non-famous appreciated not quite the quality of his music but the emotion, the lyrics and the person behind it. I admit I can't really listen to some of his music all the way through but I can see why other people like him and I do find him an inspiring figure in popular culture. Also let's not forget that of his most famous records that were recorded were done so on a tape deck as you said. These were never re-recorded with proper equipment, which again, wouldn't help some listeners' opinions towards his music. Sometimes you've got to look deeper into something than you usually would.
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B. Garner

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,993,220