Destroyer, Destroyer’s Rubies

Destroyer first started off as a solo project for Vancouverite Dan Bejar, whose neo-folkie vibe and unusual vocal stylings were compared to Hunky Dory-era Bowie. But with each release, as Destroyer and its band members gained critical acclaim, so did Bejar's other band The New Pornographers. While Bejar only records with the Pornographers, it's hard to imagine where he found the time to work on last year's Pornographers disc Twin Cinema, collaborate on a Frog Eyes EP, and produce Destroyer's fifth full length, Destroyer's Rubies. The Destroyer disc opens with the dramatic nine-minute pop-rock masterpiece "Rubies" — which makes it clear that Destroyer are comfortable switching between Bejar playing solo and full-out ensemble rockin'. It's this dynamic that makes Destroyer's Rubies such an imaginative and engaging listen. Other standouts include "European Oil," featuring some of Bejar's most intricately layered guitar work, the groove-laden "3000 Flowers" and "Watercolours Into The Ocean," which employs some fantastic reverb effects. And like the erratic mix of sounds employed on the album, Bejar's lyrics are just as abstract. While some may find his lyrics witty or poetic, others may find them far too impersonal, but now we're just nit picking, since Destroyer's Rubies will be on plenty of top ten lists at the end of the year. (Merge Records) Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

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