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A mellow but masterful creation,
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This review is from: Kaputt (Audio CD)
"Kaputt" is Bejar seemingly at his mellowest, drifting through a world shrouded in synthetic keyboard fog and saxophones. But surfaces can be deceiving. Reference points include the carefully manicured work of Donald Fagen, Bryan Ferry and Talk Talk, and Blue Nile's 1989 album, "Hats," a clinic in how to extract warmth, color and humanity from cold technology. On the ninth Destroyer album, Bejar takes his own voyage down the Blue Nile into that era, with its smooth-jazz signifiers of semi-sophisticated adulthood (saxophone, flute) and gauzy lounge-music textures.
But chilling out and sipping chardonnay to this soundtrack is not recommended. Upon closer inspection of this studied gentility, it becomes apparent that Bejar has a few issues, a longing that verges on loathing. His sing-speak vocals turn innocuous observations ("the tide comes in") into mantras. Or he'll paint violent images inside frameworks that sound conversational, almost tossed off: "I've seen it all, I've seen it all/Magnolia's a girl, her heart is made of wood/As apocalypse's go, that's pretty good, sha-la-la wouldn't you say?"
The tension between the lyrics and the pretty, pastel music is never resolved. In the background, a muted trumpet blows smoke rings