Destroyer is definitely not the band you would think they would be. Actually, it really isn’t a “band” at all. It is more the brain child of one man: Dan Bejar. Destroyer will still surprise you in one more way. This is definitely the furthest thing from any kind of metal, hardcore, or punk band. It reminds me of when I first heard the title of the movie “There will be Blood”. My first instinct when someone asked me if I had seen it was to ask where they played and what record label are they on. Destroyer however is pretty far from anything that screams and perhaps could be called heavy.
If I had to choose any comparison to Destroyer, I think I would have to settle on David Bowie. I am a really big Bowie fan, and Destroyer has a very similar inflection in the way he sings. He has a very subdued approach to his songs. He never really changes the way he sings his lines. He has a very breathy way of singing that sort of has a talking quality to it as well. There are some songs where he harmonizes with a female singer. This works out incredibly well and creates some of my favorite songs on this album. “Blue Eyes” is a great example of this. Honestly, I thought I would have a tough time getting into this when I started listening to it, but his singing really can become infectious.
The music definitely follows suit with the vocals. All of it is rather low key and subdued as well. This isn’t to say that it isn’t catchy. It definitely is. There are sort of two different styles of song on this album. Some of these have a lot of brass and woodwind accompaniment to them. It makes these songs have sort of a jazzy feel to the songs. The others have a synthesizer quality to them. These have a little bit more of an 80’s quality to them. Bear is great in both of these styles.
I have read some reviews that have said this is Destroyer’s pop album. I have to admit this sounds very little like what I think of when I hear the term pop. I suppose it does have a pop quality to it when you think of the other stuff that’s out there in this genre; however, don’t expect this to sound even close to radio pop. Destroyer has a plethora of other stuff out there, so I obviously have to check out his back-catelog. However, as a new listener, Destroyer definitely has me interested in looking into the older stuff.
Teacher Grade: A (sorry I’m not a tougher grader)
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