on 8 March 2006
I only discovered Destroyer (the Canadian Dan Bejar) a few weeks ago and immediately ordered the last four albums (including this one) through Amazon. His earlier albums,especially Streethawk: A Seduction, highlights his much vaunted early 70s Bowie influence (Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust), together with Reed from the same period (Transformer) and also other influences such as Felt (the British band, not the American one!). With this album Blonde on Blonde period Dylan comes to mind on some songs (Looters' Follies for example). Although he writes songs with The New Pornographers, the style is somewhat different... It's definitely not power pop anyway! He certainly has idiosyncratic tendencies with his music making, with a penchant for la, la, la's (particularly at the end of songs), name checking or referencing his musical back catalogue and the odd lyric from other peoples songs. Don't let this put you off because these are endearing qualities! Buy this album and you will know what I mean.
If you like Bright Eyes, Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, Lambchop, you should find something to like here also. Excellent. Stand out songs... 'European Oils', 'Painter In Your Pocket', 'Rubies', 'Looter's Follies.' The best album I have heard so far this year.
on 3 April 2011
Rubies is up there with Destroyer's best records - second only in my opinion to Streethawk: A Seduction.
As a band, Destroyer are under-exposed outside of Canada rather than underrated, as anyone I've ever met who actually listens to them, loves them.
On show here is some of Daniel Bejar's greatest work, he is a lyricist of true distinction. If stripped of all musical trappings, then Bejar's written work alone would no doubt qualify him as poet of great merit.
But luckily the entire point of the Destroyer project is that Bejar's words are reinforced with melodies and rhythm.
For all the lofty adjectives hipster music critics like to praise Destroyer with, Bejar first and foremost "gets" pop. He understands a chorus, a bridge. He's not afraid to experiment occasionally, but when he keeps it simple - like he does on "Painter in Your Pocket", "Water Colours into the Ocean" and many other great songs here - Destroyer are instantly catchty and timeless listenable.
So go buy, it's worth the price of admission.