Thursday, March 20, 2008

Destroyer - Trouble In Dreams

Trouble In Dreams
(03.2008, Merge)
Verdict = Odd Literate Pop = Indie Rock

I like Dan Bejar quite a bit. He seems to embody the music that he plays well. Wearing dark curly hair like an explosion of twisty, tangly yarn atop his pale, stringy, adjunct-professor-like posture, it’s like Bejar can’t sidestep making wonderfully odd rock splashed with backwards literacy. On Trouble In Dreams, my favourite New Pornographer scores again with his umpteenth solo record as the glorious Destroyer. Following up Destroyer’s Rubies, Trouble In Dreams doesn’t make any stark jumps in style, but instead maintains the same level of consistency that made his last album so great. Bejar’s version of pop or rock or whatever, has always stayed pretty safe with small flourishes of some proggy guitars rising in the mix from time to time and a piano line showing through here and there. That is all pleasant and well, but it’s not really the reason you listen to Destroyer. There is no avoiding the fact that Bejar’s voice and lyricism is center stage here. All else is flowers and streamers and decorative bedding. There is something about Bejar’s theatrical talk-singing that is so satisfying. However there are definitely moments when the lack of interesting instrumentation tends to leave portions of the album dry. For instance, the nearly 8 minute “Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night’s Ape)” starts to drag in its last half. For the most part, however, Bejar spins his tales masterfully and Trouble In Dreams has come away as a high point in a lengthy back catalog.

-Mr. Thistle

Destroyer - "Foam Hands"

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