Daniel Johnston, More Songs Of Pain

Jeff Feuerzeig

By Jeff Feuerzeig

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The only thing that could possibly be better than Songs Of Pain is More Songs of Pain. Without a doubt, the beautiful, complex, utterly inspired piano playing captured on this homemade cassette should dispel any false myth that Daniel Johnston cannot play his instrument. "Phantom of My Own Opera," "Man at War" and "More Dead Than Alive" are the beginning of a song cycle exploring Daniel's early bouts with manic depression, and it's astonishing how he channels it into such honesty and fragility. On this cassette, Daniel wears his Elvis Costello influence on his sleeve, clearly heard in the excellent "Never Get to Heaven." I suppose the title of this record is slightly misleading because pain never felt this good.