Feb 022011
Authors: Nic Turiciano

“Kaputt.” It’s not a word according to spell check. The red squiggly line shows up when it’s typed and seems to hold the letters in place so they don’t fall off the page. It is a misspelling of kaput, which means done for, destroyed or killed.

It is the title of Destroyer’s, Dan Bejar’s, latest album. It’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 doesn’t sound like a last note or a swan’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 aren’t the sounds of an ending.

So maybe it’s in the lyrics. Bejar doesn’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 “Poor in Love,” he sing-speaks about being unlucky in the fields of romance and money, then moves seamlessly into the next song, “Kaputt.” It’s the catchiest song on the album, and it opens with, “Wasting your days chasing some girls/Chasing cocaine to the back rooms of the world all night.”

­The words create a sentiment that fits perfectly with Bejar’s unique use of horns. This is where he draws his inevitable comparison to David Bowie.

The sounds are similar, but whereas Bowie’s horns are made for flair, Bejar’s create emotion and feeling.

So maybe the album is marking the end of a personal era for Bejar. Maybe he’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 doesn’t seem to be drawing to a close.

Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:12 pm

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