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ALBUM REVIEWS

Destroyer: “Kaputt’’

By Carrie Battan
January 25, 2011

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Destroyer frontman Dan Bejar’s catalog and musical sensibilities have been described as many things — vast, lyrically nebulous, rich with eccentricity, theatrical, Malkmus-like. Now, with the band closing in on its 10th full-length album, we can comfortably add “sexy’’ and “smooth’’ to the list. Heavily synthesized and backlit by saxophone and flute flourishes, “Kaputt’’ rides the slickly disco-hedged wave generated on 2009’s “Bay of Pigs’’ EP (a reworked version of that disc’s epic 13 1/2-minute title track closes out the new CD) and accompanying Feist-like female vocals deepen the newfound groove on a number of tracks. Strangely and luckily enough, this departure feels as natural as it does significant; Bejar’s delivery of lines like “wasting your days/ chasing some girls, alright/ chasing cocaine to the back rooms of the world all night’’ atop the record’s shimmering title track is markedly less spooky and dramatic than that of most of his early material, but scratches a similar itch. A sultry, dreamlike, washed-out new face doesn’t do too much to demystify Bejar’s extensive output, but it reminds us of the skill and vision that’s kept him around for so long.

ESSENTIAL “Kaputt’’