Danny Elfman's Second Solo Album
August 2, 2021 9:13 PM   Subscribe

It slipped under my radar, but last month Danny Elfman put out an album, Big Mess. [Wikipedia] It's industrial/grunge rock (includes 2/5 of NIN!) with an orchestral grounding. Hints of minimalism, triple dueling guitars, and a seething cauldron of hate and anger about Trump and 2020. Enjoy! Disk One: Sorry [video, behind the scenes], True [video], In Time, Everybody Loves You, Dance With The Lemurs, Serious Ground, Choose Your Side, We Belong

Disk Two: Happy* [video], Just A Human, Devil Take Away, Love In The Time Of COVID [video], Native Intelligence, Better Times, Cruel Compensation, Kick Me [video], Get Over It, Insects** [video]

Also available as a full album. [1h12m]

Additional reading:
Danny Elfman Is a Big Mess [Spin]
Danny Elfman Talks About Making a ‘Big Mess,’ and Returning to Rock a Quarter-Century After Oingo Boingo Split [Variety]
The Return of Danny Elfman, Party-Crashing Punk [The Ringer]

*Long ago Danny Elfman wrote another song, Happy. This is not that song.

**Long ago Oingo Boingo wrote another song, Insects. This is that song.
posted by hippybear (12 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
I’ve been pretty obsessed with “Happy” since he dropped it as a single. I love that he can put out an album that is “so Danny Elfman” after decades of him being so Danny Elfman that still feels fresh and not like a rehash.
posted by ejs at 10:39 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


This sounds so much like Raymond Watts that I had to check the credits just to be sure he wasn't involved, but then, the lack of alliteration probably should've been a clue.
posted by mittens at 4:54 AM on August 3


"Sorry" has a big Devin Townsend vibe to it.
posted by TheKaijuCommuter at 5:00 AM on August 3


I have only just listened to a little bit and I haven't had any caffeine yet but am I understanding correctly that Danny Elfman has made the best Tool album in 20 years?
posted by Lyn Never at 7:45 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


This sounds so much like Raymond Watts that I had to check the credits just to be sure he wasn't involved, but then, the lack of alliteration probably should've been a clue.

ctrl+f lyrics 'sordid' 'inebriate'
posted by FatherDagon at 7:52 AM on August 3


Not quite what I hoped for from a Danny Elfman album, but it’s interesting and has some highlights. I really need to give it a few more listens. I feel like there’s a lot of good ideas and fragments that don’t quite gel as songs. Maybe I was just hoping he’d pick up where Boingo left off.
posted by jzb at 6:19 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Maybe I was just hoping he’d pick up where Boingo left off.

Yeah, I I'm with you. Seeing Oingo Boingo live back in the day long before people really knew who they were was fucking incredible and a highlight of my long history going to alternative/darkwave/new wave shows.

I also know we'll never really get Oingo Boingo back or see their likes ever again. They were very unique and one of a kind in so many ways and such a strange and rare mix of synth, post punk, ska, latin and even a hint of big band and even some doo wop sensibilities.

I can't really think of any band from that era that was such a strange hybrid and crossed so many genres and influences together into something totally new. They weren't afraid to bring synths, keytars, horns, drum machines, MIDI and live drums all together under one big circus tent and just go for it with a band that was uncommonly large even by 3rd wave ska band standards.

That growling synth bass line on Dead Man's Party is definitely one of the reasons I got into electronic music because it's just incredible sounding as a foundation under most of that song.

And that song is... holy shit, 36 years old, and the synth bass line I'm talking about still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear it.
posted by loquacious at 6:50 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


I've listened to this five or six times in the past couple of days, and I'm really getting into the swing of it. What felt disjointed on first listen has taken on a better structure, and the layers of sound are much more clear to me.

I'm quite liking it. The way he's using the orchestra is very interesting. And I like the chorus and the woman singer trio.

Looking forward to digging into this a bit more over time. It's fun to have an album that I want to crawl around in and try to understand. :)
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Maybe I was just hoping he’d pick up where Boingo left off.

Boingo is an album I literally never grow weary of listening to.
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Had no idea Danny Elfman used to be in a band and didn't know Oingo Boingo was as interesting musically as they are. I knew they did Weird Science theme song and that was about it. Been listening to some of their stuff today and dig it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:56 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Had no idea Danny Elfman used to be in a band and didn't know Oingo Boingo was as interesting musically as they are.

I feel like my work here is done.
posted by hippybear at 6:09 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


So, 3.6-inch nails, then?

Great post, Hip. This didn’t even scrape my radar, but should have. Thank you.
posted by rokusan at 8:29 AM on August 6


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