Monday, June 9, 2008

Destroyer - 2 albums, one new one old

Dan Bejar is an off-and-on member of The New Pornographers. The band Destroyer is his solo project, which has been around for upwards of 12 years and 10 albums already and, in fact, has become Dan Bejar's primary work. Destroyer is essentially the unfettered, wild creativity of Bejar, who probably felt a bit restless in his indie supergroup and wanted to have complete control over something. This is evident in the entire catalogue of Destroyer's music, which is chaotic and experimental, but always possesses Bejar's peculiarities -- a nasally, Bob Dylan-esque voice, strange, beautiful and cryptic lyrics, often with very innovative rhyme schemes. To me, Bejar is a poet first and a musician second, in the ranks of other very literary singer-songwriters such as Joanna Newsom, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan. Certainly Bejar's voice, which is extremely nasally (but good for it) and singing style are reminiscent of Dylan.

To Destroyer fans, this isn't fresh off the presses or anything, but this is the newest Destroyer album, Trouble in Dreams, released earlier this year. I am still absorbing it myself. I would say it is, like many of the Destroyer albums, very hit or miss-- containing several wonderful songs and a few duds. Overall this album seems like it is going to be a worthwhile one. Get it here.

Listening to this got me back into his older albums. This is my favorite of his albums, which also happens to be fairly rare from what I can tell (no one I know has it for some reason). I found it at a good record store. Anyway, it's his 2001 release, Streethawk: A Seduction. Of the Destroyer albums I've heard, it is the most complete, with almost every song being a memorable one. Download it.

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