Destroyer - Kaputt
Kaputt is a hard record to pin down. There’s some ’70s disco and ’80s pop and a lot of frontman (and New Pornographer) Dan Bejar’s theatrical singing. There are flutes, bells, trumpets, and a whole mess of saxophone. Occasionally it sounds like a Pet Shop Boys album. Occasionally it sounds like elevator music. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Bejar recorded his vocals while dressed in a white tuxedo and sipping coffee out of a tiny cup.
Creating a weird sonic kaleidoscope mishmash seems to have been the point, however, and Bejar comes across as the world’s cleverest grad student examining the use of irony in contemporary pop. Kaputt would be a terrible record if the sound wasn’t so polished and Bejar’s words weren’t so frequently awesome (‘Suicide Demo for Kara Walker’ contains the lyric, “Four hundred more years of this shit? Fuck it.”)
‘Song for America,’ ‘Downtown,’ ‘Savage Night at the Opera’ and the first two minutes of ‘Suicide Demo’ are the standout tracks. It’s never certain what Bejar’s going for here, but trying to puzzle out his intentions is a compelling enough reason to give Kaputt a listen.
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