Destroyer – Poison Season
How do you follow a masterpiece? You go ahead and make another one. That’s been Dan Bejar’s tactic anyway, with his latest Destroyer release reflecting and extending the high-gloss beauty of 2011’s career peak Kaputt, and taking several more strides down an increasingly peerless musical path.
Back in May, the stirring E-Street rock of lead single Dream Lover suggested Bejar had liberated his inner Springsteen, setting aside the previous album’s rich sophisti-pop for something more openly heart on sleeve. But, true to form, Poison Season’s true nature is more nuanced and idiosyncratic, taking cues from a spectrum of influences from chamber pop to nocturnal jazz.
The album’s wide stylistic sampling is foregrounded by the recurrent Times Square, which studs the tracklisting three times in varied guises, as if Bejar couldn’t bear to narrow down the infinite compositional possibilities to a single arrangement. The brass stabs and wailing guitars of Midnight Meets the Rain, meanwhile, tread similar sidewalks to Isaac Hayes’ Theme from Shaft, albeit accompanied by an air of melancholy more akin to fellow night/rain enthusiasts The Blue Nile. Somehow, Bejar ensures all these pieces fit together seamlessly, and the picture that emerges feels damn close to perfect.