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Destroyer's Rubies

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Album Review

Supporters of Destroyer mastermind Dan Bejar have been regaled with enough material over the previous two years to keep even the smallest fan site busy. Between the New Pornographers' 2005 Bejar-heavy Twin Cinema and the Destroyer/Frog Eyes EP Notorious Lightning and Other Works, the hyper-literate, Bowie-loving Canadian has been on a roll. Destroyer's Rubies, his fifth full-length offering, is an amalgam of Streethawk: A Seduction's glam rock posturing, This Night's guitar-heavy psychedelia, and Your Blues' apocalyptic wordplay. Bejar's imagery is as impenetrable and volatile as ever — "Dueling cyclones jackknife/They got eyes for your wife and the blood that lives in her heart" — but musically, he's forged a solid enough foundation to ground it. Part of Bejar's charm comes from his innate ability to balance sadistic verse, music geek grandstanding, and bawdy refrains with enough major seventh chords to score a full season of Brady Bunch segues — "A Dangerous Woman Up to a Point"'s pre-chorus crescendo declares "Those who love Zeppelin will eventually betray Floyd/I cast off those couplets in honor of the void" before exploding into "I pictured heaven on earth made of clay, as your form dictated." Rubies is heavy on pop craft, with standout cuts like "European Oils," "3000 Flowers," and the manic title track echoing 2005's "Broken Breads" and "Streets of Fire," but it's more than just the art-house theater to the Pornographers' Twin Cinema, it's the absinthe-drunk projectionist reveling in the sheer hedonism of it all.

Customer Reviews

Not a fan...until now...

I have to say that I have always found this kind of music to be annoying. Now, having said that, I think this record really is great. I have made so many attempts to like Destroyer in the past, but have always failed. This record really seals the deal for me. Mostly because the music is SO intelligent. If you really think about what Bejar has to say, it is profound and it is really great. On the surface it may all seem trite and words for the sake of words, but it really goes beyond all that. This really is a new high for Bejar, I think, and this is a CD definietly worth owning.


Not much I can say. Listen to "Painter In Your Pocket" and tell me you're not blown away. I can't stop listening to it.

Wonderful Work

I discovered Dan Bejar's full-time job by stumbling across Streethawk in a used CD store (to the crazy fool that sold that disc back: thank you!) about three years ago. I've been hooked on the man ever since I first heard the Bad Arts. Dan Bejar is quite simply my favorite current artist. Bearing this bias in mind, trust me when I say Destroyer's Rubies is a fantastic record. It has a jazzier feel to it than the band's/man's last three records and as such hearkens back to City of Daughters and some of Thief. At the same time, Destroyer's Rubies offers amazing extended jams like those on This Night (though not nearly as weird). Some would describe the album as a summation of the Destroyer oeuvre to this point and that statement's not too far off--though the synthesizers found in small doses on Thief and City of Daughters (and large doses on Your Blues) are nowhere to be found. The best connection to make between this work and something with which you're likely more familiar is late-1960s Dylan--a little country, a little rock'n'roll--and Bejar's wonderfully, nasally voice increases the aptness of the association (in fact his delivery here seems to owe something to Dylan moreso than it has in the past, though I still here his Robyn Hitchcock impersonations at various times). This is not may favorite Destroyer record (Streethawk and City of Daughters are perfect and this one is not), but it's an excellent addition to Bejar's body of work.


Formed: 1995 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dan Bejar started Destroyer as a solo project in Vancouver in 1995. His first album, We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, was an electric folk record, setting the stage for the early Bowie comparisons that were certain to follow his particular vocal style. In 1998, Bejar added a rhythm section and took it into the studio for the first time. The resulting recording, City of Daughters, is a sparsely produced collection of catchy pop songs in which Bejar's increasingly obtuse lyrics really start to stand...
Full Bio
Destroyer's Rubies, Destroyer
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