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Author Topic: "Lost and Found" reviewed by Henry Long  (Read 5329 times)
Henry Long
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« on: January 07, 2007, 05:16:06 PM »

        Here is a brief, quickly composed review of “Lost and Found.” I know this CD is hard to get, in that it’s “import only” for now, but get it. It can be done, and is well worth it. I am pretty much doing this in one take, so keep in mind, I am not a professional. All opinions expressed are those of my own and do not in anyway reflect the opinions of the other fine people behind this forum. Also, I haven't eaten dinner yet, and I'm really really hungry.

        That said...

        “Lost and Found” is the most recent Daniel Johnston release which, for now, is only available in the U.K. I got mine new through eBay for around 20 bucks. Produced and engineered by Glass Eye’s Brian Beattie, this is a FUN Daniel Johnston record, the one which long time fans have been waiting for a long time.

        The whole album continues the Laurie/Muse/Unrequited Love saga quite beautifully. It opens with “Rock This Town,” which originally was a bonus on Gammon’s “Discovered Covered.” The song strikes me as somewhat ironic; a sort of lethargic anti-Stray Cats dead pan reading by Daniel, while frattish punk demons shout “RAWK!” in the background. It doesn’t so much set the tone as it kicks in the screen door and announces, “We’re HERE! This is a Daniel Johnston Record!” Be warned, the un-initiated.

        Then, one of the masterpieces. “Try To Love” shines. One of the best tracks from the recent “produced” Daniel efforts. It first appeared on “Why Me” (live in Berlin), as an understated and pretty piano pop arrangement. Here, with voice cracking Peter Brady style on the high notes (of off-rhymes like “try” and “rise,”) and an uncredited lovely and simple cello washing throughout the mix, it becomes an absolutely sincere Beatlesque prayer of hope. It will bring a tear to your eye.

        Track 3 is a redo of Daniel’s classic from “Yip/Jump Music,” “The Beatles,” here re-imagined with a nice nod to Zappa (in the funky/proggy/froggy tinker toy layering) and still as excitable as ever. At times, there is a very curious sweeping sort of foggy sound rising up in the background, like a fuzzy purple wave. I can’t tell if it’s the cello again, or a keyboard, but it comes off full of hypnotic potency. A masterful history of mystery and memory.

        “Lonely Song” has also appeared elsewhere, a sort of sing-along set-the-record-straight confessional that plays with the (startling) facts a bit, but it’s all good cuz it’s all done for our listening pleasure.

        “Foolin'” continues the mythic Lost Love of Laurie story. The heart felt sense of tragedy is palpable...  “I can’t find you anywhere in my dreams...” Daniel voice here sounds almost as if he’s ready to give up and throw in the towel and stop punchin, Joe...but we know better, don’t we?

       A sludgy Halloweeny ghostly romp follows with the song “Haunt.” I see a frazzled Frankenstein dragging cemetery mud boots across a mirror-balled David Lynch dance floor, while somebody in a smiling Devil mask plays a thick-as-molasses darkly-tuned broken guitar. But maybe that’s just me.

        Track 7 is “Squiggly Lines,” a lilting playful cartoon re-telling of Daniel’s personal history with a twisted altered Smurf piano. Think Trent Reznor meets the Banana Splits. Mr. Johnston sure gets down when he wants to, just ask The Nightmares!

        “Country Song.” Blind drunk on grape soda and twizzlers. Full of Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Pies. Sittin on the front porch steps in yer underwear. A tad too long in the Texas sun. Not so much finished as abandoned. It sounds like coming across a strange radio station from an alternative universe late one night while turning the dial on the radio in your room in an ancient lonely bordertown motel somewhere in Lost and Found America.

        “Mrs. Daniel Johnston” is a hymn to the Sex Goddess herself, who Daniel will meet one day on “that shore” of an afterlife, and be properly wed, as the title suggests. Marilyn Monroe did not die in 1962, and is not buried in Pierce Brother’s Westwood Village Memorial Park Los Angeles. She lives in Daniel's head. So there. Now you know where to send those flowers.

        Track 10 brings us to the “History of Our Love,” also first heard live on the wonderful “Why Me” release, and like “Try To Love,” it has a beautiful Beatlesque arrangement. A sad suffering song that sounds like a broadway showtune on a bender. Why aren’t these songs being released as singles?!

        Track 11 is called “Rock Around The Christmas Tree.” Everybody twist. Even Grandma.

        “It’s Impossible,” updates the Laurie obsession and confronts the reality (note: Daniel’s reality) of the situation with honesty and good humor. (PS: I saw the naked ghost of Buddy Holly playing ukulele while listening to this one.)

        “Wishing You Well,” again heard originally on “Why Me.” It has a George Harrison b-side feel to the arrangement, and is emotionally as dramatic as anything on his earlier recordings. “Oh! How I LOVE You.” Indeed.

        The record ends with an upbeat almost 50’s sounding  “Everlasting Love.” It’s poppy. It’s catchy. It’s Daniel Johnston! Everybody twist again. Thanks for coming. Drive home safely. See you soon. Happy New Year!

      Thank you Brian Beattie. You did a great job.

      Let's hope we'll see it released in the States soon.


     Okay, there’s my review. Buy this music. Listen to it. Have fun.

Love
Henry
« Last Edit: January 08, 2007, 07:18:50 AM by Henry Long » Logged

"Although there's a darkness, love balances chaos."-HL
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 02:07:10 PM »

Okay, you sold me on that one. How much does it cost to import?
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Henry Long
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2007, 07:08:55 PM »

http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=21559

Or try watching eBay, Half.com, etc. Expect, as I mentioned above, to pay around 20 greenbacks, unless the dollar totally bottoms out against the pound, which is quite possible. Or trade with somebody who has a CD burner and the Cd. I do not have a burner (or even a tape deck anymore), or I'd make a deal.
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"Although there's a darkness, love balances chaos."-HL
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