|No. of Discs:||2|
Gatefold double LP pressed on colored vinyl — Disc 1 "Black & White Explosion, Disc 2 "Opaque Sky Blue"
Grammy and Emmy-winning composer's first solo collection in more than 30 years!
If Danny Elfman's new album surprises you, just know that it surprised him, too.
"This wasn't a record I ever planned on making," confesses Elfman. "At times, I had no idea where the music was even coming from. It was all unexpected. But I decided not to resist it either."
Driven by primal forces seemingly beyond his control, Big Mess marks Elfman's first solo collection in more than 30 years, but it's no return to form. Clocking in at 18 tracks, the sprawling, ambitious double album finds the Grammy and Emmy Award-winning composer breaking bold new ground as both a writer and a performer, drawing on a dystopian palette of distorted electric guitars, industrial synthesizers and orchestra in an effort to exorcise the demons brought about by four years of creeping fascism and civil rot.
The songs here call to mind everything from Nine Inch Nails, to David Bowie to XTC at times, balancing dense, harmonically complex arrangements with biting, acerbic wit as they reckon with the chaos and confusion of the modern world. Elfman wrote almost all of the record during quarantine, and while the anger, frustration, and isolation of it all is palpable in his delivery, Big Mess is about more than simply blowing off steam. In making the space to truly sit with his emotions and write without limitations, Elfman achieved a kind of artistic liberation on the record that had been eluding him for decades, rediscovering his voice and reinventing himself all at once in the process.
"When I started this project, it'd been so long since I'd done anything personal that I honestly didn't know what Danny Elfman sounded like anymore," he reflects. "Writing these songs was a journey in figuring that out, as much as anything else."
Born and raised in southern California, Elfman began his career as part of a surrealist, avant-garde musical theater troupe known as The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo. Inspired by everything from early Harlem big band to German cabaret to Balinese Gamelan and West African percussion, the group would eventually morph into the critically acclaimed rock band Oingo Boingo, whose high-energy performances and genre-bending sound garnered them a fanatically devoted cult following in the 1980s and '90s.
Among the group's early fans was fledgling director Tim Burton and Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman), who enlisted Elfman to score their first feature film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure. The collaboration would prove to be the start of a long and fruitful partnership for Elfman and Burton, with Elfman going on to score a string of iconic Burton features like Batman, Beetlejuice, Big Fish, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. To date, Elfman has scored more than 100 films for everyone from Peter Jackson and David O'Russell to Gus Van Sant, Sam Raimi and Ang Lee, earning four Oscar nominations, two Emmy Awards and a Grammy for his work on movies like Milk, Good Will Hunting, Men In Black and Silver Linings Playbook as well as television themes for The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives.
|3. In Time|
|4. Everybody Loves You|
|1. Dance With The Lemurs|
|2. Serious Grounds|
|3. Choose Your Side|
|1. We Belong|
|2. Just A Human|
|3. Devil Take Away|
|4. Love In The Time Of Covid|
|5. Native Intelligence|
|1. Better Times|
|2. Cruel Compensation|
|3. Kick Me|
|4. Get Over It|