Vancouverite Daniel Bejar, the man behind the mighty Destroyer, makes music that simply must be heard. Thief, Bejar’s third album as Destroyer, finds his songwriting and delivery at its peak. Almost every composition has the air of a timeless classic. Stunningly gorgeous melodies soar within the simply crafted arrangements, as the tracks reveal a heart-wrenching delivery and soul-searching directness. Bejar is a folk troubadour and modern-day poet perhaps comparable to Dylan in his unique skills as both a tunesmith and lyricist. In fact, Destroyer songs are jam-packed with imagery, cramming more thoughts in a single musical phrase than might seem appropriate. The ideas, however, manage to roll off Bejar’s tongue with rhythm and insight. His biting socio-political commentary sets him apart from soft pop merchants like Belle and Sebastian, while creating music far superior in its sheer beauty. Bejar’s band provide the perfect accompaniment. Jason Zumpano’s keyboard work is particularly exquisite and at times brings to mind the arrangements of his band, Zumpano. While pop signifiers from the hippie ’60s, glam ’70s, new wave ’80s and deconstructionist ’90s all rear their head, the tradition Bejar carries on is simply that of true inspiration. By far one of the best albums, Canadian or otherwise, I’ve heard in ages. Thief is a treasure waiting to be discovered.
Daniel Bejar: voices, nylon, telecaster and some fuzz
John Collins: The Bass Guitar
Scott Morgan: drums, organ on I.H.O.J., all of M.E.R.C.I.
Stephen Wood: Epiphone, E-bow, Delays and Phases, all of I.H.O.J.
Jason Zumpano: piano, Keyboards, Proteus
Design: Lester Smolenski at Users Group Design
Producer: John Colins at JC/DC July 31 - Sept. 4