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Destroyer Ushers in a 'Poison Season'

Music ReviewSebastian MarquezComment

Ah, Dan Bejar, with your linen shirts, lah-dah-dahs and wonderfully verbose lyrical content, welcome back. After four long years, Poison Season is Destroyer’s latest offering to the industry he loves to routinely criticize.

What initially comes to mind is how it might compare to the preceding record, 2011's Kaputt, though you can’t approach this LP the same way. It's not that the two aren’t comparable, though; the players on Poison Season were all part of the band Bejar put together for the Kaputt tour. 

What we have here, however, is an altogether different album. For those who were introduced to the world of Destroyer with Kaputt, it could be feasible they might not like Poison Season; Gone are the new age ambient workouts like "Poor In Love" and the sad-boy disco stomp of that damn near perfect title-track. Poison Season is a live band playing Destroyer songs, and good ones at that.

That's not to say that the ambience is completely lost, as evident in "The River"’s soothing presence, it’s just presented differently. In interviews Bejar has compared this setup he’s got going on to the likes of Billy Joel, and, at risk of sounding like a yes-man, yes, the instrumentation does remind a bit of Billy Joel and the like.

Above everything, though, we still have Bejar’s sense of melody and always outstanding understanding of why English can be such a cool language when put to music. His deft turns of speech and beautifully surreal imagery (like on "Forces From Above"), ear for little details (the lone saxophone in the right speaker holding its note out at the end of "Times Square" just does things to me, man), and deft use of older lyrical cliches for his own purposes ("Sun in the Sky") all serve as reminders that Dan Bejar knows what he’s doing here.

Let the record wash over you. Pay attention to what he has to say because, hell, whatever it is he’s trying to say sounds really pretty when he says it.