Reviews \

Daniel Johnston, ‘Is and Always Was’ (Eternal Yip Eye)

Jon Young // October 6, 2009

Admired by Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits, troubled lo-fi troubadour Daniel Johnston has made cult-inspiring records since the early 1980s. For Is and Always Was, well-meaning producer Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, Brendan Benson) attempts to expand Johnston’s appeal, wrapping his timeless, touching lyrics and Elmer Fudd-like voice in buzzing electric guitars and shiny keyboards. Often brilliant, occasionally creepy songs such as the bitter toe-tapper “Without You” and the optimistic six-minute epic “Light of Day” aren’t appreciably improved by the trappings, but still cut deeply.