Dan Bejar Returns With ‘Have We Met,’ Another Masterful Destroyer Album (Turf Club Show Saturday)
For me, Dan Bejar’s work under the nom de plume Destroyer has produced some of the most intricate, confounding and captivating music of the last two decades. His latest album, Have We Met, builds on his sterling catalog and is a record with an endless amount of space to explore Bejar’s idiosyncratic songwriting.
His lyrical output is a mixture of profound and whimsical, at times twisting phrases that make you stop in your tracks and other times endlessly repeating phrases that sound like he heard someone utter on a late-night subway ride. The music on Have We Met, like his previous work, mines genres that could easily slip into pastiche, from shimmering synths to lounge pop, but the production is pristine and the work is given its due regard. There are no half measures in Bejar’s output.
Like the lyrics, the musical palette on this record is a unique taste that some people don’t love, but if you do dig it, it is another slab of golden pop from the man who I consider our generation’s poet Laureate Lounge Singer. Songs range from the wistful, strung out “Kinda Dark” to the icy “It Just doesn’t happen” to the epic first single “Cue Synthesizer.” I’ve listened to the album dozens of times and find new corners that light up my ears with each listen. Sometimes it is a casually delivered lyrical twist, other times it is a muscular synth line intertwined with smart guitar work. Bejar seems more restrained and somehow even more snarky than before, if that is possible, and the work feels like a continuation of his previous work while also expanding the terrain. Like his best work, this is a record that awes on first listen and somehow continues to offer rewards on countless spins thereafter. I’m not sure where I’d put Have We Met in his cannon, but the fact that it is in the running with classics like Kaputt and Destroyer’s Rubies shows how much I love this record.
Destroyer returns to the Twin Cities Saturday night for a Sold Out show at the Turf Club with Eleanor Friedberger. You can’t get tickets, but you can read about the show HERE if that tickles your fancy.
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