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Your Blues

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Album Review

Recorded with the production duo JC/DC (aka David Carswell and John Collins) — who aided in the creation of Destroyer's first three discs — Dan Bejar ditches the band format he used for 2002's This Night with tremendous results. Fusing a dramatic vocal style akin to that of David Bowie in the 1970s with 1980s studio achievers like Microdisney and Prefab Sprout, Your Blues is regularly breathtaking. Launched with the strummed guitar of "Notorious Lightning," Behar soon expands on his vision with the bright, synth-conceived orchestration of "An Actor's Revenge" and the fabulous, adventurous pop of "The Music Lovers." Sure, the long a cappella intro on the title cut is hard to take, but Destroyer's records are never without a challenge or two. Still, Behar quickly redeems himself with the tongue-in-cheek "New Ways of Living," which pokes fun at mid-'80s pop drama queens with lyrical and musical finesse. The flute-laced "It's Gonna Take an Airplane" is the high point here, with lyrics like "Baby, you were born to be seen/And art's just the start," but late-model standouts like the Hunky Dory-inspired "What Road" and the haunting closer, "Certain Things You Ought to Know," all help make Your Blues 2004's early front-runner for art rock album of the year. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Bowie on Super Nintendo

In many listener reviews I've read about this album and the band in general, reviewers often mention that this is a long way from what New Pornographer's fans would have expected and that just because one likes Carl Newman and the gang, it doesn't mean he or she'll enjoy these songs. In some ways I find that to be true; the style is very different. I think it is fair to say, however, that a majority of NP fans will like Dan Bejar's well-crafted, quirky songs for many of the same reasons as The New Pornographers. Bejar does have a unique style both musically and vocally and his use of MIDI sounds on this album sound far better than they should. True, this album isn't for NP fans; it's for fans of intriguing, smart music.

An unexpected surprise

I didn't really enjoy Dan Bejar's input with the New Pornographer's. However, I did think he had an interesting voice and probably was capable of creating some great music on his own terms. In the context of Destroyer's music his voice sounds right at home and the music is great. So much emotion and theatrics with an acoustic guitar and some MIDI. He makes the music sound so full using clever production to bring the synths out in a way that is rarely heard. It doesn't sound cheesy it sounds full. Just check out the title track and when "Notorious Lightning" kicks into full gear. If synths aren't your bag the versions of these tracks with Frog Eyes are a little more rock n' roll. Makes these songs have a bit more of a Marc Bolan edge.

How many people do you need to tell you to buy this?

It should only take a few people's generous reviews to inform one that an album has potential. In this case and the case of anything that Bejar graces with his presence, you need not hesitate. But this and buy the rest. Chances are that if you're looking at this page anyways, you'll love it.


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...
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Your Blues, Destroyer
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