Feature

Destroyer

With his bruised vocals and acoustic guitar, Dan Bejar would’ve been “perfectly suited for a career in pretty soft rock, mid-1970s style,” said Jon Pareles in The New York Times. On 'Trouble in Dreams,' the 35-year-old songwriter, who records as Destroyer

DestroyerTrouble in Dreams(Merge)

***

With his bruised vocals and acoustic guitar, Dan Bejar would’ve been “perfectly suited for a career in pretty soft rock, mid-1970s style,” said Jon Pareles in The New York Times. On Trouble in Dreams, the 35-year-old songwriter, who records as Destroyer, strums away and guides his nasal timbre through melodic loops and whorls. But, as on 2006’s Rubies, any “tranquility” is fleeting. Bejar’s anxieties creep in as he ruminates about war, terror, and those chronic rock ’n’ roll vices: drugs, alcohol, and sex. His lyrics, more abstruse than usual, “dive right into non sequiturs with their own compelling logic.” The music, too, takes its own course. “Rivers” unexpectedly picks up “post-punk agitation,” accented by Bejar’s adenoidal yelp. On “Foam Hands” and “My Favourite Year,” he lets “psychedelic jams loom out of piano ballads.” Songs like these help Bejar escape the nostalgia hovering over him, said Jess Harvell in The Washington Post. When he playfully fiddles with song structure, the “Summer of Love rainbow bubble” around him bursts and his music becomes “both wistful and outsized.” Esoteric and too often nonsensical, Trouble in Dreams illustrates “pretzel logic” only Bejar understands, said Marc Weingarten in Entertainment Weekly. Still, fans will revel in his aching “romanticism; he’s convincingly sensitive even at his most arch.”

Recommended

The daily gossip: September 21, 2021
Jake Gyllenhaal.
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: September 21, 2021

The daily gossip: September 20, 2021
Mandy Moore.
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: September 20, 2021

The Emmys demonstrate their own irrelevance
An Emmy.
Picture of Jeva LangeJeva Lange

The Emmys demonstrate their own irrelevance

TV ad slamming Gov. Greg Abbott pulled right before Texas football game, Lincoln Project says
Ad criticizing Greg Abbott
Cancelled

TV ad slamming Gov. Greg Abbott pulled right before Texas football game, Lincoln Project says

Most Popular

7 cartoons about America's vaccine fights
Editorial Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about America's vaccine fights

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?
Elizabeth Holmes and James Mattis.
Samuel Goldman

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?

Former FDA commissioner questions whether researchers should continue to publish sequences of novel viruses
Scott Gottlieb.
sunday shows

Former FDA commissioner questions whether researchers should continue to publish sequences of novel viruses