Destroyer: Trouble in Dreams

Trouble In Dreams

Trouble In DreamsDan Bejar is never at a loss for words. He crams his songs full of ‘em. He packs them in tightly, makes ‘em tumble over one another in a cascade of nonsensical poetry. But somehow it always works. This album is no exception, but on this album in particular Bejar’s vocals and his mysterious lyrics have been pushed to the forefront. Whereas previous albums often pulled his vocals back just a smidge as it got layered into lush orchestration, reverb and various vocal layers, this one is very straightforward. That’s either a good thing or bad thing depending on what you think of his heavily faux-accented singing style. I don’t find this album as strong on the hook front as say a Streethawk or Rubies, but it’s certainly a grower. Perhaps he’s ridden that Bowie and Queen train as far as it could go, and this is the new, stripped-down version of the Destroyer crew? I know this is almost out of bounds, but there are weird almost Pavement-y flourishes of Western slackerness on tracks like “Introducing Angels” (“Loretta’s Scars” anyone?) that I don’t recall hearing much of on previous albums either. Overall it’s a more somber (but not sober) album that doesn’t quite hit the crescendos of previous efforts, but does include some nice cussing. That’s not a negative per se, as not every album needs to be a Broadway show effort, but it does leave it in an odd middle space (purgatory, perhaps) that occupies neither the high highs or low lows and therefore becomes less memorable or recommendable.