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November 2019
Review

Destroyer - ken

An album filled with joy and sadness in equal measure.
Destroyer - ken
Published: 12:10 pm, October 17, 2017
An album filled with joy and sadness in equal measure.

Label: Merge Records
Released: 20th October 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Dan Bejar can always be relied on to provide a certain degree of quality and distinction on every album he releases and ‘Ken’ his twelfth Destroyer album has all the grace and beauty you’ve come to expect.

The enigmatic title isn’t a Coronation Street homage; instead, it’s a reference to the original working title of Suede’s romantic ballad ‘The Wild Ones’. While not sounding like Suede the album is imbued with the same sort of evocative spirit of escape and mystery.

Bejar himself says it’s about the last days of Thatcherism, a time when people were dreaming of new possibilities. You can hear that in the yearning, rich opening ballad ‘Sky’s Grey’ and the Cure-like gentle epic ‘Rome’.

While his last album ‘Poison Season’ was very much a band record filled with bombastic Springsteen style rock and pop, ‘Ken’ once again pares things back and brings the focus back on Bejar’s luxurious and tender voice. There’s still flashes where he cuts loose though on an album filled with joy and sadness in equal measure. Martyn Young

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