Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Anti
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Danny Elfman Big Mess 2LP (Black/White Explosion & Opaque Sky Blue Vinyl)

Danny Elfman

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First Solo Album In More Than 30 Years On Double LP!
Presented On Stunning Black/White Explosion & Opaque Sky Blue Color Vinyl!

Big Mess marks Elfman's first solo collection in more than thirty 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. 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. 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.

The album opens with feedback, a power chord, and a drum fill on 'Sorry,' an ominous rock track. Its components include choir-like backing vocals and a wall of sound constructed of electric guitars, synths, strings, and mallet percussion, all under a steadily intensifying, explicitly worded vocal that includes sentiments like 'I can't breathe while you're alive...and I'm so sorry that I didn't die.' That sets the tone for many of the album's 18 tracks, though Elfman varies tempo, topic, and approach throughout what is a well-sequenced, adventurous set.
-Marcy Donelson,, 4/5 stars (The AllMusic 2021 Year In Review - Favorite Alternative Albums)


  • Double LP
  • LP1 - Black/White Explosion Color Vinyl
  • LP2 - Opaque Sky Blue Color Vinyl
  • 1st Solo Album Since 1984
  • Triple gatefold jacket
  • Explicit Content


Disk 1

Side A:
  1. Sorry
  2. True
  3. In Time
  4. Everybody Loves You
Side B:
  1. Dance With The Lemurs
  2. Serious Grounds
  3. Choose Your Side
  4. We Belong

Disk 2

Side C:
  1. Happy
  2. Just A Human
  3. Devil Take Away
  4. Love In The Time Of Covid
  5. Native Intelligence
Side D:
  1. Better Times
  2. Cruel Compensation
  3. Kick Me
  4. Get Over It
  5. Insects

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