Daniel Johnston, Don’t Be Scared

Jeff Feuerzeig

By Jeff Feuerzeig

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

After Songs of Pain and More Songs Of Pain, Daniel wanted to reassure the growing legions of fans in his mind that they shouldn't be scared of his raw, naked honesty and emotion; hence this album's title. What a truly beautiful and sweet sentiment from this truly beautiful and sweet man. "Going Down" takes an elevator ride south to depression, where songs like the gorgeous, tender ballad "I Had a Dream" reside in a state of dreamy melancholy. Just when Daniel has made us feel OK about the voyeuristic experience he's been dishing out, he pulls the cord on the guillotine with "And You Love It," an audio verité recording of his Fundamentalist mom yelling religious proverbs at poor young Daniel. This segues deliciously into "I Had Lost My Mind", a standout uptempo track where Daniel gets in the ring with Bob Dylan — and punches his fucking lights out.