Release Date: Mar 18, 2008
Record label: Merge
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
In between working on releases with his other projects (Swan Lake; Hello, Blue Roses and the New Pornographers), Dan Bejar somehow had time to record Trouble In Dreams, the eighth Destroyer studio album. More grandiose and theatrical than even the New Pornos’ power-pop hyperbole, the disc combines cryptic lyrics and Television-inspired guitar licks on standout tracks Shooting Rockets (From The Desk Of Night’s Ape), Foam Hands and pretty closer Libby’s First Sunrise. Despite being both musically promiscuous and prolific, Bejar hasn’t allowed quantity to affect quality.
Dan Bejar must have gotten used to the full-band sound he explored on Destroyer's last album, 2006's Destroyer's Rubies and the touring that followed, because Trouble in Dreams presents an even more completely realized version of that (all but Scott Morgan returned from Rubies), full of strings and drums and horns, changing time signatures and soaring background vocals. Bejar has also come to realize, at least some of the time, that a good, strong melody can help bring together what otherwise could be an ornately shambolic mess of nonsensical allusions and phrases and chord changes. Take the first single, "Foam Hands," for example.
Trouble in Dreams is nearly identical to Destroyer’s Rubies. Sure, the notes and words aren’t the same, at least not entirely, but the tone, the demeanor, the feel of the album most definitely is. Which isn’t exactly a shocking development, or at least, shouldn’t be. Most musicians walk that fractal edge between wanting to please an audience (or at least some respected peers), wanting to grow, wanting some measure of security (financial, creative, etc.) and wanting success – and, to put it bluntly, Destroyer’s Rubies accomplished all that and then some.
Destroyer With his fey voice and acoustic guitar, the songwriter Dan Bejar, who records as Destroyer when he’s not with the New Pornographers or his other projects, might have been perfectly suited for a career in pretty soft rock, mid-1970s style. The beginning of Destroyer’s eighth album, .
The cover of Trouble in Dreams, a painting of a veiled, sneering, drunk woman, telegraphs upfront that Dan Bejar's ninth album as Destroyer hasn't strayed in lyrical content. His twin obsessions, art and the opposite sex, continue to intrigue and allude him, as he nasally addresses on "Plaza Trinidad": "What devilry the source of this screaming? You and your dress: fair game." Trouble follows the critically lauded 2006 masterstroke, Destroyer's Rubies, and Bejar's band, returning from those sessions, makes it feel like a solid rock album. He's comfortable being frontman, too: the Band-ish sway of "The State" and vertiginous shimmer of "My Favorite Year" reflect a new confidence.