Saturday, 14 January 2012

Toronto Tim Says: Album of the Year: Destroyer: Kaputt

Tim Patrick has posted this from Canada:

Destroyer : Kaputt... If you've already heard this CD and hated it... never mind! Just ignore this...

At then end of the 2011, I was endlessly bemoaning about how disappointing a year it had been for music... not one album I could eagerly recommend. I checked all the music rags to see their year-end Top 50 lists, and Destroyer's "Kaputt" kept popping up near the top, referencing Prefab Sprout, Talk Talk, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Steely Dan, New Order, Eno, Brian Wilson and even Al Stewart. Initially, I avoided investigation because Dan Bejar's previous work with  New Pornographers and his own band Destroyer were not to my tastes at all. However, eventually I decided to have a quick listen to sample clips just to confirm my negative expectations. I was not prepared for the surprise I would discover! Further exploration had me hustling off to the local HMV store to pick up the CD and give it a 'proper' listen...

Bejar, a veteran of the Canadian indie rock scene, regarded as an eccentric genius by many, but in my view just too weird, chaotic and possessing extremely irritating vocals. Apparently, he opted for a bold and grand departure on this record... a bizarre and beautiful one! Adopting a less eccentric vocal style, and venturing into meticulous 80's "smarty pants" pop territory, and obtuse but interesting lyrics that bring to mind 'Swoon' era Paddy Mac'. There are also sumptuous threads of trumpet and sax that thread through several of the pieces that lend a very elegant jazzy vibe. 

Anyway, this is simply the the best front to back CD I've listened to in a long while, holds up to repeated listening... and I'm truly thrilled about it!

I think I'd better bite my tongue now and belatedly recommend... "MY FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2011"... by a country mile!


  1. Aye Captain, I see you decided to post my spontaneous blurb. I'm afraid when I find something I love... gotta share it! The girls here give it a thumbs up... they're dancing! It is quite groovy. Different than my usual listening I suppose. Give me your review when you give the CD a real listen... a great headphone experience! Hope I haven't oversold it...

    Sorry you had problems accessing the official record company HQ Youtube videos. Apparently, some uploaders limit the countries where videos are available, a nuisance for you, rummaging about finding alternatives... some 'unique' ones you found! Post looks great again!

  2. Yup, hope that you don't mind; I'm similarly spontaneous these days. I'm looking forward to getting the album; any review that mentions the Prefab's 'Swoon' period gets me dribbling...
    No worries regarding the YouTube stuff; it's nice to get lost whilst navigating; you meet some interesting folk...

  3. Hi Trev and Tim

    I'm glad you did post it - once I got over the shock of seeing Swoon mentioned re a band name that sounded like it came from a grunge throwback or a death metal band I gave it a listen via Spotify and ordered a copy straight away!

  4. Funny, I got that whiff of leather pant and bullet belt too...

  5. I agree, crap name for a band. I associated it with an old Kiss album title. Although several reviewers mention sonic allusions to Prefab, I was the one citing 'Swoon' lyrically. I think obtuse was the the wrong word. Perhaps enigmatic or pretentious may be better? Yet, as St. Hubbins said "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever." Read the CD lyrics and prepare to be bemused! Funny though how goofy lyrics stick in you brain. "Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque!"
    Still can't believe this guy is a Canadian, the sound is so lush 80's New Romantic Brit-pop. Connects with me anyway!
    Got to get back to the Golden Globe Awards. Ricky Gervais is hosting and taking the piss out of Hollywood... fearless and hilarious!

    PS: "Spotify" - Qu'est-ce que c'est?

  6. Hi Tim

    Spotify - either the death of music of a great way to try before you buy.

    Basically a streaming site either free with adverts or monthly charge without. There isnt a lot that isnt on there. You can create your own playlists etc and listen to those of others
    The music business are desperate for it to work as a battle against piracy however I think artists only see a pittance. But it is so good that it is difficult to ignore - so I compremise and only use it for stuff I want to check out before buying - Destroyer being a great example