Daniel Johnston / Jack Medicine

The Electric Ghosts

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On ELECTRIC GHOSTS, Jack Medicine (aka producer Don Goede) and Daniel Johnston find new ways to create the sad and joyous effects that have made Johnston one of the most acclaimed outsider musicians in America. Johnston's voice still wanders tenderly around the melodies, but its rougher, whinier edges have been smoothed over. There are synthesizers and pianos and, on "Sweetheart (Frito Lay)," the smoothest blues guitar this side of Chess Records, but the layers of instrumentation are subtly syncopated throughout to complicate even the bounciest songs. The result is not exactly lo-fi, but certainly off-kilter--a new collection of loopy pop songs that Johnston's fans will recognize instantly.

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