The Sublime Creations of Destroyer

On Dan Bejar's Kaputt, his leisure-free leisure-rock album

The American underground—Bejar's phrase—is in identity crisis. "Yacht rock" is a concept with cache. Soft-focus opulence is suddenly a virtue. Twentysomethings are making music they would have shit on as teenagers. In LCD Soundsystem's prophetic words, we're reeling in "Borrowed nostalgia for an unremembered '80s," but the nostalgia has shifted from an alternative sound (post-punk) to a nauseatingly marketable one (in a word, Loggins). The trick now is to make cool what never was, usually with rhetoric and a lot of echo.

Bejar doesn't hide behind these pretenses. His faith in the sound is a rebuttal to his irony. He's in deadlock with himself. His love is bitter and strange that way: He prods and pecks and criticizes, but still sounds passionately invested in everything he does. The Destroyer paradox is that every album Bejar makes contains at least one argument for why it shouldn't exist. The beauty of the paradox is that he makes them anyway.

Tired, but beautifully so
Ted Bois
Tired, but beautifully so

Destroyer play Webster Hall April 3

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3 comments
JT
JT

I don't like the record, and I love Bejar. But the review is a thoughtful take...

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trouble in dreams was 2008

 
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