out of egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and i shake the dirt from my sandals as i run

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top 10 Albums of 06: #3

Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies

A Destroyer album is an event by nature. The New Pornographers may be remembered as this decade's emblematic pop think tank, but they're no monolith; Dan Bejar does not equal A.C. Newman, who refined the Pornos' sound on his own solo album; and he does not equal Neko Case, who has her own thang and betters it on each of her successively more awesome solo records. Bejar has no thing. He'll do whatever the fuck he wants.

So we have 2004's Your Blues, on which Bejar programmed tinny MIDI melodies and laid them under bombastic, reverbed, theatrical vocals, with lyrics about I don't even know what. It's one of my favorite albums. And we have 2005's Notorious Lightning EP, on which he took songs from Your Blues and played them like they were rock songs, and which I can't stand.

It seems like I'm building to the thesis that Destroyer's Rubies is the relieving synthesis of those two albums, but I'm not good enough to set that argument up. I just mean that Destroyer is all over the map, and that other than the thing he does where he name-checks his songs in all his other songs, this album has nothing to do with anything.

Take "Painter In Your Pocket," which is probably the best song on the album, but which was also the one I used to habitually skip. It starts off like a song I don't want to listen to - it doesn't even really sound like a proper song until 30 seconds in, actually. But proper it is, proper like a fox, and by 2 minutes 40 seconds in it's a virus, even though I still don't really know what it's about. Where did you get that penchant for destruction in the way you talk?!?

Bejar's strength as a lyricist is unquestioned by critics, even the douchebag ones. It's his musical choices they harp on, and that's why Your Blues was a divider, not a uniter. This is an easier pill to swallow musically, and it's not nearly as dissonant, even if it's not completely consistent. The opening track is almost 10 minutes long and has at least five distinct sections. It'd be great as a Joanna Newsom cover, if it had more nonsense words. Now that's something I would pay to download.

Download: Painter In Your Pocket

buy it for someone you luv.

Only two more. I get the feeling you're not going to like this.


Blogger Brian said...

I don't like anything.

12/20/2006 9:49 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home