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I went to see Daniel Johnston in Leeds last October. The songs he did on his own or with his guitarist were great. Once a band joined in it quickly became terrible. The 'ahem' idiosyncratic vocals seem to work ok with his hotchpotch playing but add in 'proper' musicians and it starts to grate. Here is an album with an orchestra. Not the best idea in the world as Johnston is in worse than ever ...

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Beam Me Up! by Daniel Johnston
1 review. Write a review for us »
4/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 April 2010

I went to see Daniel Johnston in Leeds last October. The songs he did on his own or with his guitarist were great. Once a band joined in it quickly became terrible. The 'ahem' idiosyncratic vocals seem to work ok with his hotchpotch playing but add in 'proper' musicians and it starts to grate. Here is an album with an orchestra. Not the best idea in the world as Johnston is in worse than ever voice but as usual the strength of the songs shines through  - at times theres a fascinating juxtaposition between the upbeat parping and the pained vocals and dark subject matter. He seems to be revisting his back catalogue - one of my long term favourites 'Walking the Cow' is reduced to the sound of a tramp singing a completely different song to a nearby oompah band yet at times still retains its charms. Probably for obsessives only.


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