- Vinyl (14 May 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Cobra
- ASIN: B004DY4Z46
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,427 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||£29.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details|
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Vinyl LP pressing. 2011 release from Canadian musician and singer/songwriter. Best known for his collaborations with The New Pornographers, Bejar started Destroyer as a solo home-recording project in the early to mid-'90s. Destroyer's limited edition 2010 twelve inch singles were lauded by critics and sold out in the first month of release. Upon hearing "Bay of Pigs," Pitchfork declared Bejar "a songwriter of the highest order," and The AV Club was one of many outlets to declare the song, "a real epic: a meditation on life and love in times of crisis."
Constant line-up changes and frequent diversions in musical direction means Destroyer are shamefully more of a cult attraction than a household name. But that might be about to change. This seamless collection of songs is gaining increasing numbers of admirers, and reached a respectable chart position of 62 on the Billboard chart when it was released stateside in January. It now lands in the UK courtesy of Dead Oceans.
Destroyer is effectively Dan Bejar from Vancouver, who since 1995 has steadily garnered fans of indie rock/shoegazing grooves. Pavement have been a previous touchstone, while his last album, 2008’s Trouble in Dreams, mined glam rock; but this time he appears to have written an album of love letters to the 80s pop of Scritti Politti and Roxy Music. It’s effectively the sound of a man so tired of waiting for a follow up to Roxy’s Avalon that he’s written it himself.
Bejar claims his hitherto inconsistent line-up is now settled, and it rings true. Blue Eyes is typical of the album’s whimsical pop, recalling The Field Mice, The Blue Nile and Saint Etienne. It draws a line in the sand early on, with the line "Your first love’s New Order"; fans of whom will also grin at the bassline of Savage Night at the Opera, coming across like a Low-Life outtake.
Expecting people to listen to a song called Suicide Demo for Kara Walker is brave enough, but making it eight minutes of lush harmonies, guitar licks and reverb is visionary. The title-track may sound similarly dreamy, but Bejar has had enough of "Chasing some girls… chasing cocaine through the backrooms of the world all night", leading to a wonderful sign-off: "Sounds, Smash Hits, Melody Maker, NME / All sound like a dream to me."
There is no shortage of hooks and sweet female harmonies, but this album is as much as about atmosphere as hit singles, as the strident guitar line of the conversational Song for America proves. Few tracks clock in below five minutes, while the closer, Bay of Pigs, a come-down hymn which makes a case that the second summer of love never ended, registers in at many more, yet wastes not a second. Despite this, at only nine tracks you’re left wanting more, and with the sense of being privy to an album too many people will miss. Kaputt is a genuine classic, unlike anything any other artist will release in 2011.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dan Bejar has been making albums as Destroyer since 1995, while also being a member of The New Pornographers and Swan Lake.
We blissfully knew nothing about that until we read a review of "Kaputt", his ninth album under this name. In it, "Avalon" by Roxy Music was cited by Bejar as a source of inspiration for this record. We were instantly interested, as "Avalon" is not your average influence to declare, is it? (People keep saying The Beatles and The Beach Boys).
Yet along Roxy there is much more going on on "Kaputt" as far as musical references are concerned. Add Steely Dan to the list, The Blue Nile, early Electronic ("Getting Away With It" in paricular) and a pinch of ambient Eno for what can only be described as a lithe stroll through the 70s / 80s Pop Valhalla.
Exciting? Yes, but do not think, not even for a moment, that this is a derivative album. "Kaputt" gleams with its own original style; it glides along with shimmerimg synths, jazzy curlicues of horns and flutes, short guitar solos and elastic disco beats that simply take you that little bit closer to heaven.
On top of it all sits Mr Bejar's voice. He is part singer part raconteur, blending successfully Momus, Lloyd Cole and Paul Buchanan into a delicious vocal moulinette. His is a bittersweet tone, relating tenderly wry lyrics on failure (personal and social) that rub like gentle sandpaper onto the smooth surface of the music. Mr Bejar is definitely a disappointed romantic, but one who cries into his glass while keeping in mind his love for beauty and intelligent artistic expression.
And this is why you should not miss this record. It is one of the most rewarding releases of the year so far, and it is destined to become an indie-pop classic.
Why go kaputt without it then?
Key tracks: Suicide Demo For Kara Walker, Chinatown, Bay Of Pigs.
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
Consequently, Kaputt is somehow landed between the surprising success of Gayng's recent 10cc-homage Relayted and Twin Shadow's equally recent and smooth, retro disco. Suffice it to say, his work with The New Pornographers included, Dan Bejar has come a long way since 1996's We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge.
Once a challenge, Bejar's voice is now relaxed, almost velvet-like, so too his chosen medium - for example, "Song For America" comes on, in part at least, like Bill Withers' much-sampled "Lovely Day". As a result, Kaputt is by far the easiest listening LP in the Destroyer catalogue, but only the hasty would say the best. Finding its home in soft rock, light jazz and pop, not to mention 2011's must-have touchstones the saxophone and fretless bass, this is a record as likely to earn an army of haters as it is an ocean of plaudits.
Firmly dating the work, Bejar's wistful title track lists period publications: "Sounds, Smash Hits, Melody Maker and NME".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can I give this 6 stars please ? One of the greatest albums of last 20 years. Magnificent melodies, beautiful arrangements and intriguing vocals. Read morePublished 13 months ago by M. Webb
I had never heard of this band, but after readingq the review I bought it without listening to it and expecting to hear loud music since the name of the artist and the title of the... Read morePublished on 22 Dec. 2014 by Hans Westerlaken
A true masterpiece. It gives you the impression that it was recorded as an improvisation in the studio, yet it's so complex, so atmospheric and beautiful, unlike anything that Dan... Read morePublished on 8 Aug. 2013 by szarkan
Not really listened to Destroyer before but found this album to be excellent. Will be exploring more Destroyer in the future.Published on 15 Jan. 2013 by phil stewart
I came across this album by accident as I was trawling through the excellent Merge Records web site (home of She & Him, Superchunk and The Rosebuds). Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2012 by Andy L
along with The War on Drugs, The Silver Seas, Tom Waits and Bon Iver for album of 2011.
Pitchfork's review sums it up best "Kaputt feels wise. Read more
Well, there's still a few weeks left but this is my favourite album of the year so far, and when you take into account what a good year it's been that's quite an accolade. Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2011 by Unbeliever
Some albums are really difficult to classify, this one is impossible. Yes there are nods to the 80's but really you will struggle to find any other album sounding like this. Read morePublished on 8 Aug. 2011 by Ian Tandy