At the age of 65 David Lynch has made his first solo album. A typical act of eccentricity – though perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised: few film-makers use music as imaginatively as the Blue Velvet director. Crazy Clown Time comes at a time when his cinema career has reached an impasse, with his last film coming out in 2006. Its mood is recognisably Lynchian with dreamy reverb-drenched guitars, ominous trip-hop beats and quirky/macabre songs about oral hygiene and stalkers. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O plays gothic siren on the atmospheric “Pinky’s Dream”; the rest of the time Lynch is the vocalist, delivering spoken-word lyrics in a variety of oddly distorted voices, sinisterly slurring “I saw you with another man” in “Football Game” and sounding like a lobotomised Neil Young on “These Are My Friends”. Some of it is distinctly ordinary (“Good Day Today” is low-budget Moby), and his love of the uncanny doesn’t translate as easily to music as it does to film, the art form closest to the state of dreaming. But the title track – in which Lynch, sounding like Perky Pig, recounts a weird tale of a group of friends clowning about (“Buddy screamed so loud, he spit”) over backwards-recorded guitar and orgasmic moans – finds him close to his unsettling best.
Crazy Clown Time