The Big Dream

David Lynch - The Big Dream
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2013 Ratings: #619 / 1035
User Score
Based on 45 ratings
2013 Ratings: #406
July 15, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sunday Best / Sacred Bones / Label
Experimental / Genres
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The Skinny

More confident, more coherent, and with much more depth than his debut, this feels less like a self-indulgent project from a director and artist who has decided to experiment with a new form, and more like a youthful artist, full of promise, finding his distinctive voice for the first time.


For all its varied sonic textures and hues, Lynch does what he is best known for with every bit of art he lays his hands to: sustaining a singular vision and mood throughout.

The 405

Lynch serves as a spirit guide on a trip to a dark, surrealist place people don't want to admit exists, and yet is in all of us. 


While still weird, it is a more musically consistent effort than Crazy Clown Time, overtly indebted to the blues, and despite the occasional flaw, it’s a treat.

The Line of Best Fit

Here Lynch has a more methodical approach both musically and lyrically, looking to early rock ‘n’ roll for structure, rhythm and melody, but without sacrificing the electronic demeanour of Crazy Clown Time or indeed the sheer aberration with which Lynch has become synonymous with.

Drowned in Sound

It continues one of the most singular artistic visions of modern times and while it may not push it any further it’s often so damn charming as to make you forget about all that and just drift away into Lynch’s meditative world, in wrong love with the weird.


‘The Big Dream’ is entirely in keeping with all of David Lynch’s previous work; at times, it is deeply sinister and often quite unpleasant, but it’s a compelling unpleasantness, one that draws you in and transfixes you.


Even if his take on the blues is far from straightforward, this might be the most accessible set of songs associated with Lynch to date. 


There’s enough musical ambition, heartbreak and menace on ‘The Big Dream’ to keep the Lynch nerds absorbed.


The Big Dream is a slow burner, only revealing itself as a statement after repeat listens, and relies heavily on mood. 

No Ripcord

Sure, Lynch’s thoughts on The Big Dream seem much more concrete and focused than those found on the perpetual nightmare cycled on Crazy Clown Time, but it’s pretty removed from any traditional state of coherence.


Whilst The Big Dream reinforces his somewhat one-sided sound, it’s a sound which engraves itself in your memory, and which reinvigorates the paradigms of modern blues and the avant-garde, if only slightly.

A.V. Club

It maintains a solid amount of Crazy Clown Time’s ethereal weirdness, but is also more confident and structured. 


It’s difficult to imagine returning to this album months or even weeks from now, once the initial charge of “I’m listening to a David Lynch album” has worn off. 

The Fly

Pumped with creepy synth-waves, alien-speak vocals, saw-mill guitars and a strangely murderous Dylan cover, ‘The Big Dream’ is – let’s be honest – among the tamer conceits to have escaped Lynch’s mind.

Consequence of Sound

Those who enjoy slow-burning plots and gradual inclines, rather than immediate gratification, will revel in the album’s itchy sawdust.

FACT Magazine

Nothing here looks beyond the familiar palette of Lynch-isms (in that regard this album is less adventurous than its predecessor). 

Tiny Mix Tapes

The Big Dream is but a pretty stone that withers the moment it is touched, lifted for further inspection.

Slant Magazine

Lynch may be devoting much of his time and passion to his new career as a musician, but The Big Dream still has a thin, larky feel, briefly amusing, consistently strange, but rarely resonant.

Listening to my mediocre jazz album ON YOUR FUCKING TELEPHONE???!!!!
It's impossible not to feel depressed while listening to David Lynch.
There's little in this album that's notable. The Lynchian weirdness that you'd expect from the legendary filmmaker is mostly gone and we're left with a collection of bluesy tracks none of which are really exciting or interesting enough to mention. For the most part it's pretty disappointing but then we love Mr. Lynch for his films not his music.
Despite Lynch's interesting gloomy/industrial atmosphere, there is few to this album that actually engages into a compelling listen. The psychedelic blues ballads that run throughout the album are for the most part, pretty repetitive and become stale after a few minutes. The highlight must be the weird noir warning Last Call and the beautiful soundscapes of the Lykke Li collaboration I'm Waiting Here. Lynch has definitely crafted a sound of his own even before this record came out, but if he ... read more
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Track List

  1. The Big Dream
  2. Star Dream Girl
  3. Last Call
  4. Cold Wind Blowin
  5. The Ballad of Hollis Brown (Bob Dylan cover)
  6. Wishin' Well
  7. Say It
  8. We Rolled Together
  9. Sun Can't Be Seen No More
  10. I Want You
  11. The Line It Curves
  12. Are You Sure
  13. I'm Waiting Here [ft. Lykke Li] (bonus track)
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Added on: June 24, 2013