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Trouble in Dreams (Vinyl) [Import]

Destroyer LP Record
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 26.30 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

All hail Destroyer's ninth-or-so full-length, Trouble in Dreams. Many, many gosh-darn dudes go in for the "vaguely weird indie-rock music with oblique lyrics" schtick, and yet it's still an utter joy to hear Dan Bejar do it. He does it so well: if you close your eyes (or if your record collection doesn't go back before 1995), you might believe he invented this stuff. Overloaded, gorgeous, EBowed guitar work drips all over these songs. A few tunes suffer a tad from overly proggy, lurching rhythms, particular "Plaza Trinidad," on which Bejar's singing sounds like a parody of himself. It's totally Bowie-does-Shakespeare-in-the-park, but the over-the-top delivery saves it. "Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)" is another head-scratcher, an overblown yacht-rock nightmare that begs to be part of a Paul Williams rock opera. But it's weirdly beautiful, and lacking in irony, so go ahead and put it on the mix tape for that barista you're crushing out on. All the lewd language, baroque pronunciation, and laconic pace keep songs like "Libby's First Sunrise" or "Leopard of Honor" from the radio waves and Target commercials they should rightfully rule, but that doesn't keep them from being among the best, smartest, already classic rock music of 2008. --Mike McGonigal

Product Description

2008 release that cements Vancouver, BC's Dan Bejar as an artist as quirky and enigmatic as David Bowie, as symphonic and grandiose as Scott Walker, and as quixotically literary as Bob Dylan. A collection of songs that is fresh and confounding, yet befitting the Destroyer canon. "Of all contemporary songwriters, he's been the biggest influence and inspiration. Because he is pretentious, but in a way that makes it into a game where we all get to pretend to be so grand" - Okkervil River's Will Sheff.

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4.0 out of 5 stars In dreams, in dreams March 17 2008
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
"Ok fine, even the sky looks like wine/And everywhere I turn there's/a new face in time, stuck inside the well..." Daniel Bejar drawls in a weary voice.

Well, that doesn't exactly wear off quickly. Destroyer's eighth album -- or maybe its tenth, I'm not sure -- is full of reflections to those who "live in darkness" and think "light is a dream." But "Trouble in Dreams" definitely transcends its rambling poetry with full-bodied, expansive instrumentation -- think a shoegaze orchestra.

It opens with a bittersweetly folky ode to... not sure. Maybe it's infidelity: "Blue Flower Blue Flame,/a woman by another name is not a woman/I'll tell you what I mean by that, maybe not in ten seconds flat, maybe never..." Bejar sings over a piano and guitar.

It's followed by the far more uptempo, angular rock'n'roll of "Dark Leaves Form a Thread" and the blurry, bassy "The State." But then they embrace a stranger, more distant kind of music -- quirky melodies infused with organ, shoegazey rockers, rambling folky rock, stretches of fuzzy balladry, and the exquisitely shifting dark expanses of "Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)."

Though it sounds much like a continuation of Destroyer's last album, "Trouble in Dreams" is a bit of a contradiction at times. Bejar has solidified Destroyer into a permanent lineup, meaning that the sound is much fuller, lusher and clearer than in Destroyer's days as a shifting (or even one-man) band. But on the other hand, the music is even stranger -- and at times, fuller of distortion -- than ever before.

And that new fullness of sound suits the music well -- swirling shoegazer melodies spiked with sharp riffs, buzzy basslines, piano and carpets of colourful keyboard.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The light is a dream you see March 17 2008
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Ok fine, even the sky looks like wine/And everywhere I turn there's/a new face in time, stuck inside the well..." Daniel Bejar drawls in a weary voice.

Well, that doesn't exactly wear off quickly. Destroyer's eighth album -- or maybe its tenth, I'm not sure -- is full of reflections to those who "live in darkness" and think "light is a dream." But "Trouble in Dreams" definitely transcends its rambling poetry with full-bodied, expansive instrumentation -- think a shoegaze orchestra.

It opens with a bittersweetly folky ode to... not sure. Maybe it's infidelity: "Blue Flower Blue Flame,/a woman by another name is not a woman/I'll tell you what I mean by that, maybe not in ten seconds flat, maybe never..." Bejar sings over a piano and guitar.

It's followed by the far more uptempo, angular rock'n'roll of "Dark Leaves Form a Thread" and the blurry, bassy "The State." But then they embrace a stranger, more distant kind of music -- quirky melodies infused with organ, shoegazey rockers, rambling folky rock, stretches of fuzzy balladry, and the exquisitely shifting dark expanses of "Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)."

Though it sounds much like a continuation of Destroyer's last album, "Trouble in Dreams" is a bit of a contradiction at times. Bejar has solidified Destroyer into a permanent lineup, meaning that the sound is much fuller, lusher and clearer than in Destroyer's days as a shifting (or even one-man) band. But on the other hand, the music is even stranger -- and at times, fuller of distortion -- than ever before.

And that new fullness of sound suits the music well -- swirling shoegazer melodies spiked with sharp riffs, buzzy basslines, piano and carpets of colourful keyboard. Some of the melodies are whittled down to a more bare-bones lineup, with lots of guitar, bass and sharp drums... I have to admit, a couple of these sound too demoesque to really fit in. But at least Destroyer somehow melts some extra complexity into those with a bit of distorted guitar, sometimes with an undercurrent of keyboard.

In the middle of all this, Bejar might have gotten lost if he didn't have that penetrating, somewhat drawly voice. He rambles through the album like a self-reflecting poet, dropping vivid phrases ("Sipping sherry branded by moonlight") and dark, rather enigmatic reflections on the world ("It's a terrible feast we've been stuffing our faces on/A terrible breeze from the east coming on/Bearing the scent of our one hundred first kills...")

"Trouble in Dreams" refers constantly to both trouble and dreams, and its rambling poetry and lush instrumentation show Destroyer off in good form. And it only promises more in the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Standard Magic May 13 2008
By George a Pletz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Dan Bejar has been bringing superlative music to the indie scene for so long that it was just a matter of time before the critics ran out of words and got nervous. How long can somebody make music so soulful and intelligent before it became routine, before it just started to sound phoned in? The answer is not yet and maybe never. He has such an understanding of what makes his indie prog-pop rock works. He moves on a very fine edge. Too far one way and it is art for art's sake ( in other words, get ready to suffer) and, too far the other way and it is another puff piece that sounds fine but forgettable. The balance of quirk to craft is precise! The band here is tight and Dan's voice is mellowing into something which is nuanced but smooth. I am not even going to attempt to pick highlights. Like all good records, different musical and lyrical passages will jump out at you if you give the record the time to weave its magic. I believe that Trouble in Dreams is the ideal spot for the adventurous indie pop listener to jump in. This is a man and his band make the music they want and not giving a damn about current trends. Start here and work your way back. Just give it time. Soak in and get familiar. This is an album that gets better the more time you spend with it. It doesn't disappear into insignificance with knowledge. It just gets more grand with every spin.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Rubies, but not really... March 27 2008
By Shane Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I wouldn't consider myself a fan of Dan Bejar. I began to listen to his solo work only after falling in love with the New Pornographers. And he was the last artist from that group that I purchased solo music from, Neko Case and A.C. Newman (respectively) being the first two.

I didn't care for Destoyer's first couple albums at all. Rubies came out and everyone including legitimate review sources were drinking the Destroyer Kool-Aid. Honestly, I didn't really care for that album either. It was alright, but it didn't compel me to put it in my music rotation. So I sold it. Then I bought it again, thinking I just wasn't "ready" for it. Then I sold it again.

Enter: Trouble In Dreams. A lot of people in the forums were saying this album was so much different than Rubies and even people who weren't fans of Rubies liked this album. I just had to give it a listen because I heard a few things on Rubies that I liked, and if Bejar improved upon them or changed direction a little bit, I just might consider myself a fan.

Well, I love this album. It's definitely my favorite Destroyer album and it has been on heavy rotation on my iPod. It's strange because the same musical elements are present on this album that were present in Rubies, but yet it's different. I guess it's something that has to be heard and compared to be understood. In any event, Dan Bejar and Destroyer can now consider me a fan.

Oh and by the way, I bought Rubies again and now I like it a lot as well.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in Dreams March 27 2008
By Mike Newmark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Trouble in Dreams is Vancouver-bred Dan Bejar's ninth album as Destroyer in 12 years. This would be a make-or-break situation for most bands, the point at which their listeners stay tuned or stop caring. Destroyer leans slightly toward the former outcome because its previous effort, Destroyer's Rubies (2006), was easily the band's best, and because Bejar and whatever lineup he's recording with continue to make interesting records--restlessly creative yet completely recognizable as Destroyer's work. And yet, Destroyer remains a qualified success, almost through no fault of its own. Bejar's oblique lyrical musings and nasally, Renaissance Faire tenor are the definition of an acquired taste, and if you don't have the stomach for a certain strain of jaunty Canadian indie rock, forget it. Like most music we'd casually label "experimental," Destroyer has always been both inviting and isolating: inviting for genre-heads willing to suspend their disbelief the way they might while watching a fantasy film, and isolating for everyone else.

If you didn't know Bejar and his staunchly iconoclastic view of his own music, Trouble in Dreams might sound like Destroyer's semi-conscious bid for mainstream listenership, or at least an attempt to reach a few people outside of the already converted. "Dark Leaves Form a Thread" approaches Adult-Oriented Rock with its giant guitar hooks in the chorus, and county-rock number "The State" moves even closer to the middle of the road, actually making me a little nostalgic for Hootie and the Blowfish. But Bejar would never aim directly for terrestrial radio, so the relatively safe, freakout-free music on Trouble in Dreams probably stems from the fact that it's Destroyer's (say it with me in a sluggish voice) ninth album, the one on which the musicians understandably get tired and/or tired of trying to outpace themselves. It's reductive, but Trouble in Dreams is Destroyer's Rubies, just a tad more winded, colorless, and risk-averse.

After all, the prototypical Destroyer elements that flowered on Rubies are still in place. There are songs about women, songs about being crushed by the world, and songs that frankly don't make any sense. Bejar still sounds like Bejar (with the exception of "Blue Flower/Blue Flame" on which he becomes a dead ringer for a weary Jeremy Enigk), singing with flair and conviction. And no late-era Destroyer album would be complete without the obligatory long, epic jam (here, the long and epically-titled "Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)"). The band is the same one as on Destroyer's Rubies, minus drummer Scott Morgan, and they sound just as confident on the catchy space-rock chug of "My Favorite Year" as they do on the unwieldy, prog-tapping "Shooting Rockets." For better or for worse, the sun rises and sets on Bejar's whirligig phraseology, so the success of Trouble in Dreams may rest on whether enough people enjoy hearing him sing lyrics like "I was starving in that s***house, the world" as though he were recounting a story about wizards to a group of tots, while the band follows suit.

It may not surprise anyone that I find Destroyer's relatively accessible songs the easiest to listen to. I'm not sure if the guitar-only opener "Blue Flower/Blue Flame" is a wink or a full-on tribute to Galaxie 500's "Blue Thunder," but it nonetheless retains that song's blissfully druggy, skyward-looking vibe. Then, "Dark Leaves Form a Thread" crashes in with big, galvanizing guitars, sunny synthesizers, and a solid pop-rock song structure that might actually make Clear Channel sit up and pay attention. Then comes the groovy alt-country track "The State," the sweetly elegiac "Foam Hands" and the amiable "My Favorite Year," making for a pretty great five-song run. But it doesn't stay that way. By the eight-minute centerpiece "Shooting Rockets," Destroyer is gallivanting around of its own accord, becoming tangled up in its complex cadences and lyrical gobbledygook. It all reaches a nadir on the penultimate song "Plaza Trinidad," a loopy yet oddly unexciting romp that could be held up as an exemplar of what Destroyer's detractors roll their eyes over.

Trouble in Dreams retains yet another hallmark of Destroyer's late-era discography: It's a remarkably exhausting listen. Reviewers have admonished me not to read Destroyer's albums as books, but how can I refrain when the lyrics booklet looks exactly like one (with paragraphs, chapters and so on) and Bejar stuffs his phrases with so much prolixity? The thing is, I can't say I know what this "book" is about. There are too many images and adages that require explanation, and Bejar isn't talking (key lyric: "I'll tell you what I mean by that / Maybe not in seconds flat / Maybe never"). The lyrics' tone, style and rhythm remind me of those on Joanna Newsom's excellent Ys LP in 2006, but while those lyrics worked as a continuously flowing narrative, here I just get lost in all the free-associations that are constantly slamming into each other.

Ironically, I find myself enjoying Trouble in Dreams when I'm not paying much attention (an easier proposition on the album's first half) the way Bejar probably intended for me to. The moments that I can sink my teeth into are the ones in which I can successfully ignore the various intrusions, but then, those "intrusions" may be the gems--Destroyer's rubies, if you will--that will keep fervent fans attentive and appreciative when the tenth album hits. When all is said and done, the story here is the same as it's been with every Destroyer record in recent memory: If you like hearing Dan Bejar emote in brazenly literary fashion while his band spins webs around him, you will like Trouble in Dreams. If you don't, you won't.
4.0 out of 5 stars The light is a dream you see Sept. 5 2009
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Ok fine, even the sky looks like wine/And everywhere I turn there's/a new face in time, stuck inside the well..." Daniel Bejar drawls in a weary voice.

Well, that doesn't exactly wear off quickly. Destroyer's eighth album -- or maybe its tenth, I'm not sure -- is full of reflections to those who "live in darkness" and think "light is a dream." But "Trouble in Dreams" definitely transcends its rambling poetry with full-bodied, expansive instrumentation -- think a shoegaze orchestra.

It opens with a bittersweetly folky ode to... not sure. Maybe it's infidelity: "Blue Flower Blue Flame,/a woman by another name is not a woman/I'll tell you what I mean by that, maybe not in ten seconds flat, maybe never..." Bejar sings over a piano and guitar.

It's followed by the far more uptempo, angular rock'n'roll of "Dark Leaves Form a Thread" and the blurry, bassy "The State." But then they embrace a stranger, more distant kind of music -- quirky melodies infused with organ, shoegazey rockers, rambling folky rock, stretches of fuzzy balladry, and the exquisitely shifting dark expanses of "Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)."

Though it sounds much like a continuation of Destroyer's last album, "Trouble in Dreams" is a bit of a contradiction at times. Bejar has solidified Destroyer into a permanent lineup, meaning that the sound is much fuller, lusher and clearer than in Destroyer's days as a shifting (or even one-man) band. But on the other hand, the music is even stranger -- and at times, fuller of distortion -- than ever before.

And that new fullness of sound suits the music well -- swirling shoegazer melodies spiked with sharp riffs, buzzy basslines, piano and carpets of colourful keyboard. Some of the melodies are whittled down to a more bare-bones lineup, with lots of guitar, bass and sharp drums... I have to admit, a couple of these sound too demoesque to really fit in. But at least Destroyer somehow melts some extra complexity into those with a bit of distorted guitar, sometimes with an undercurrent of keyboard.

In the middle of all this, Bejar might have gotten lost if he didn't have that penetrating, somewhat drawly voice. He rambles through the album like a self-reflecting poet, dropping vivid phrases ("Sipping sherry branded by moonlight") and dark, rather enigmatic reflections on the world ("It's a terrible feast we've been stuffing our faces on/A terrible breeze from the east coming on/Bearing the scent of our one hundred first kills...")

"Trouble in Dreams" refers constantly to both trouble and dreams, and its rambling poetry and lush instrumentation show Destroyer off in good form. And it only promises more in the future.
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