Album: Daniel Johnston, Is and Always Was, (Feraltone)

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The Independent Culture

The rehabilitation of Brian Wilson was heartwarming, but the rebirth of Daniel Johnston will melt the cockles.

Not that the usual critical faculties can be applied to a brilliant but bi-polar performer whose cult status was achieved through Kurt Cobain's endorsement, a series of lo-fi recordings and an award-winning documentary. Nearly 30 years in, Johnston has now recorded the album he was always capable of, given precise production and due eccentricity. Usual faculties on hold, the verdict is pure, hopeful, innocent, inspiring.