in Review

Destroyer – ken

In the one time I’ve written about Destroyer in the past, it seemed like despite a few stand-out tracks, I was having a bit of a struggle connecting with the band’s then-latest album, Poison Season. Destroyer’s now-latest album ken, however, is a different story, as it might be my favorite Dan Bejar-helmed release since 2006’s Destroyer’s Rubies. This is in no part due to Bejar returning to a more concise and airtight approach to pop songwriting, but while in true Destroyer style, also putting out an album unlike anything the artist has released before.

That said, this album isn’t that different from 2011’s Kaputt, in that it sees Bejar mining the synth-laden sounds of the ’80s in his own elusive image. But here those sounds are put to the use of something a little more pop friendly. As if he tried to build a collection of songs that would be primed for radio circa 1982. It’s just that no one in 1982 sang with quite the same miserly poeticism as Bejar, or delivered the kind of deliciously obtuse lyrics that he once again is in full mastery of here.

I feel like at this point, I end up listening to so much different music on a regular basis, that there are very few artists where I feel like I could sufficiently sing along with if I put them on. Destroyer on the other hand, due to Bejar’s lyrical peculiarness, is still one of them. Just take the song “Sometimes In The World” for example. There isn’t even a ton of lyrics there. And yet it manages to fit in memorably cutting phrases like “I can’t pay for this, all I have is money,” or “Sometimes in the world. / The thing that you love dies,  And you cry and you cry. / You turn your back on it.” Which are both catchy enough to get stuck in your head, but also singular enough that it makes you think about why it’s getting stuck in your head.

Favorite Tracks: “Tinseltown Swimming In Blood”, “Cover From The Sun”, “Sometimes In The World”