Destroyer – Kaputt

Long story short – Dan Bejar is one of the most adventurous and continuously compelling artists working today, having carved out a back catalog over the past decade and a half that is littered with great albums, fascinating failures, and more drastic changes to his aesthetic approach than most bands could ever even imagine.  Kaputt is Bejar’s latest album under his primary songwriting moniker, Destroyer, and unsurprisingly it doesn’t fail to surprise or reward.  2006’s warped, labyrinthine Destroyer’s Rubies was both my album of the year (the year before PHW started) and my gateway drug into the vast Bejar catalog.  It will also probably always be my favorite Destroyer record, but this is the one that could challenge that notion over the long term.  As you’re probably well aware at this point, Kaputt mines 80’s synth pop, jazz, disco, ambient, New Romantic, and yes, even Adult Contemporary to fill out its icy smooth sound.  The emphasis though, as always, is squarely on Bejar himself.  His writing is as dense and drunk as ever, filled with his characteristically vivid images, wild flights of fancy, and sly humor.  Vocally though, Bejar tones it down considerably, slow dancing over the slick production with an atypical spartan austerity, resulting in what is probably the most satisfyingly cohesive album Destroyer has ever produced.  It’s hard to choose favorites, but “Poor In Love” has stood out so far, as have “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker”, “Song for America”, and the title track.  Honestly though, this is a great record top to bottom and easily one of the best the young year (which is off to a racing start, mind you) has produced.  As Bejar undersells on “Savage Night At the Opera” – I heard your record and it’s alright.  Yeah, and then some.

MP3  ::  Chinatown

(from Kaputt. Buy here)

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