I was in the middle of my David Lynch obsession in the early ’90s with Twin Peaks and Wild At Heart. And now 20 years later, he has managed to put out some amazing albums…as weird and dark and brilliant as you would expect from this wonderful, fantastic man.
David Lynch can pretty much do whatever he wants at this point, eschewing his award-winning film career for other projects. Following his beats-heavy debut album, Crazy Clown Time, The Big Dream takes a sharp turn down a dark blues highway. While electronic beats still show up, eliciting a nice Stonesy stomp in songs like “Star Dream Girl” and getting trip-hoppy in songs like “Wishin’ Well,” The Big Dream is heavily mired in blues sound and mythology. The result pulls up imagery of decayed Americana, much as his films do, with cryptic lyrics that hint at dank roadhouses where a woman sings and “every night they come to dream of her,” like a memorable scene of Twin Peaks. He even covers Bob Dylan, in a dreamy version of “The Ballad of Hollis Brown.” Lynch nods to his own musical past as well, such as on “Cold Wind Blowin’,” which sounds like his beloved collaborations with Julee Cruise, only with Cruise’s airy flutter of a voice replaced with Lynch’s prickly, heavily effected tenor. (For even more Julee Cruise-style,’50s-flavored dream pop, pick up the vinyl version of The Big Dream, which includes Lynch’s incredible collaboration with Lykke Li, “I’m Waiting Here.”) Though The Big Dream sees Lynch and longtime musical collaborator Angelo Badalamenti painting from a samey palette of grays, their adherence to a solid musical idea, and one that clearly draws on Lynch’s strengths, makes The Big Dream overall an improvement on its predecessor. Though fans will pine away for the next Lynch film, The Big Dream is a successful dose of Lynch’s singular ability to conjure impossible dreams with his work.