Destroyer – Kaputt

January 25, 2011

“Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.” So the Proverb goes. Dan Bejar, though, drinks not to forget but to remember.

Having perfected his European Blues on “Destroyer’s Rubies,” Bejar returned today with another masterpiece, the brilliant new “Kaputt.” Here, he addresses America repeatedly and directly. Poignantly, and with the help of second vocalist Sibel Thrasher, he returns to the 1980s in both sound and spirit. Asking but never answering: was that the beginning, the end, or the beginning of the end?

Overall, the tone is sympathetic. But there’s a critique under the surface that, in a way, seems more devastating that Jonathan Franzen’s. Since Franzen maybe suggests that one can accept, forget, and move on; whereas for Bejar the past always haunts.

Which leaves us, like Bejar, drinking to remember. “Kaputt” is the perfect soundtrack for that.

PS – Ann Powers on Dan Bejar and Kara Walker here.


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