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Dark at the End of the Tunnel

The all-too-obvious sentiments on this album — what kind of people are we really, underneath our skin? — sit oddly on music as darkly inventive as anything any coven of witches ever brewed.

But then witches use organic ingredients: bats’ eyes, frogs’ claws. Danny Elfman, the guiding genius here, uses lots of synthesized stuff, producing a result teeming with the artificial life of an electrified black plastic jungle.

And that might be what links the music and the sentiments, which come off sounding artificial, too: Elfman just protests too much. The songs can be strangely enticing, but, taken as a whole, the album leaves an uncomfortable taste.

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