The unexpected moments of arresting beauty on Kaputt never cease to surprise.
There’s no denying it: Destroyer‘s 2011 album Kaputt is creepy. Creepy like a greasy haired gigolo who stares at you with eyes that not only say “I want to sleep with you,” but “I want to sleep with you in strange, perverted, and — in some jurisdictions — illegal ways.” Creepier yet, is how incredibly seductive a record it is; it explains why, against your better judgment, you’re giving the same kinds of kinky eyes back before opener “Chinatown” reaches its sultry, saxy climax.
Dan Bejar freely admitted that “…there are some creepy qualities” to Kaputt, just as there have been on previous Destroyer releases, adding that his “…full-on presence might make some… jittery or antsy”. It’s like he’s describing me, someone who always found listening to Destroyer records a nervous affair. Prior to Kaputt, Destroyer albums left me either scratching my head or itching to press stop and put on something less, well, creepy.
Kaputt was altogether a different matter. Its 80s soft-rock/dad-rock vibe and prominent saxophone left me wondering whether I was listening to the same Destroyer. Was Bejar sincere or was he taking the piss? Was he playing the part of a washed-up has-been, or making a pointed criticism of disposable celebrity culture? Or both? Or neither? Ultimately, I let the kitsch factor peel away like sunburnt skin on a starlet’s patootie and revelled in Kaputt’s remarkable consistency and composition.
Dive as deep into Kaputt’s lyrical pool as your stamina and intellect will allow; it’s rife with cultural references both witty and wise. Or, take it at face value and cherish it as the stand-out Destroyer album that it is. Every time I put this record on, I discover a new wrinkle I hadn’t noticed before. Kaputt never ceases to surprise me, humour me, or stop me in my tracks with unexpected moments of arresting beauty.