â€œKaputt.â€ Itâ€™s not a word according to spell check. The red squiggly line shows up when itâ€™s typed and seems to hold the letters in place so they donâ€™t fall off the page. It is a misspelling of kaput, which means done for, destroyed or killed.
It is the title of Destroyerâ€™s, Dan Bejarâ€™s, latest album. Itâ€™s a bit confusing. Destroyer has been active for over 15 years, so no doubt Bejar has seen a lot in his time, but the album doesnâ€™t sound like a last note or a swanâ€™s song.
It sounds fresh. The tracks are lively and full of spring. Almost every song is shrouded in a haze of atmospherics, has at least one horn section and benefits from catchy guitar hooks. These arenâ€™t the sounds of an ending.
So maybe itâ€™s in the lyrics. Bejar doesnâ€™t sing so much as talk. The tone of his voice acts as a passageway for his words to enter your brain and bloodstream instantly.
On â€œPoor in Love,â€ he sing-speaks about being unlucky in the fields of romance and money, then moves seamlessly into the next song, â€œKaputt.â€ Itâ€™s the catchiest song on the album, and it opens with, â€œWasting your days chasing some girls/Chasing cocaine to the back rooms of the world all night.â€
ÂThe words create a sentiment that fits perfectly with Bejarâ€™s unique use of horns. This is where he draws his inevitable comparison to David Bowie.
The sounds are similar, but whereas Bowieâ€™s horns are made for flair, Bejarâ€™s create emotion and feeling.
So maybe the album is marking the end of a personal era for Bejar. Maybe heâ€™s struck it rich and found love. Maybe cocaine in back rooms is a thing of the past. The good news is that the music doesnâ€™t seem to be drawing to a close.
Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.