David Lynch lives for contrasts: Think of the sunny, picket fence façade of suburban life presented at the outset of Blue Velvet, a portrait virtually destined to be shrouding the secret, dark underbelly of mysterious goings-on at night. That same contrast is at work in the soundtracks to Lynch's films, which tend to move back and forth between naïve pop (see his use of the original "Blue Velvet"), finger-snapping jazz ("Dance of the Dream Man") and darkly foreboding orchestral cues (such as those written by Angelo Badalamenti for Lynch's cult TV hit Twin Peaks). Then, starting with the Twin Peaks movie Fire Walk With Me, Lynch added roadhouse trance-boogie to the mix (see "The Pink Room"). Taken with the moods created by pop stars that Lynch's films have drafted into service -- think David Bowie and Lou Reed -- it starts to seem like a well-defined world of sound.
If Lynch has shown somewhat less flexibility as a solo recording artist on recent albums like The Big Dream, it's only because he doesn't have the limitless chops as a musician that he can claim as a filmmaker. But on tracks like "Sun Can't Be Seen No More," his deliberately oddball vocals mix with the guitar-driven stomp to create something plausibly dangerous -- as well as a little bit silly. While you wait (and wait) for news of a new Lynch movie project, click over to the appended playlist and get lost in the director's singular sound world.