20 Watts

Releases of the Week, Week 6: The Ruby Suns and Destroyer by 20watts
March 19, 2008, 12:16 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

The Ruby Suns – Sea Lion

The Ruby Suns’ sophomore album begins with spacey vocals calling a sound check. Slowly, instruments join in. All this is somehow reminiscent of early Animal Collective recordings. This quickly changes for the second song, “Oh, Mojave,” when a sort of Spanish flair erupts into the album. Sea Lion can best be characterized by the abrupt change during the last song; the song starts out a set way, but all of a sudden, a switch is flipped and something completely different starts.

Needless to say, Sea Lion is cluttered with different styles of music and a wide range of emotion. It charms the listener into a realm of wide-open spaces and imagination. It’s safe to say that the album art can sum up the entire album, with its bright display of colors and cartoon-like texture.
Nothing individually stands out. In some people’s mind, that may come off as a bad thing, but when everything fits so perfectly, then it’s definitely a good thing everything meshes this well.

Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams

Daniel Bejar cannot be un-amazing. Bejar is all over the place, not only working solo, but also playing with Frog Eyes and the New Pornographers. He first gained widespread recognition in 2006 for his solo album Rubies and his follow up is nothing less than stellar.

Trouble in Dreams starts almost like something ripped from his last album with the first track “Blue Flower/Blue Flame” but things quickly pick up pace with the next two songs. The second half of the album sees Bejar experiment with different sounds and a different recording style. “Shooting Rockets” shows Bejar pushing Destroyer in a different direction before pulling back into its comfort zone for the next few songs.

Trouble in Dreams has a fuller, baroque sound, which seems to be a recent trend. Yeah, it works for some, and hearing Bejar experiment with this isn’t the worst thing; he does it sporadically and there still is a lot of the typical stripped-down, intimate feeling. Just when you thought Destroyer peaked with Rubies, Dan Bejar throws this out there. Maybe Swan Lake should start something again now that both him and Frog Eyes have hit their stride.

Trouble in Dreams is definitely up there with Fuck Buttons for best album so far this year.

– Ryan
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