Daily Download: "Painter in Your Pocket," Destroyer

Published February 22, 2006 8:01AM (EST)

This song, with the possible exception of last year's "It's Gonna Take an Airplane," is the closest thing to a pop song that Dan Bejar has written for Destroyer. (He seems to use many of his most immediately catchy melodies for his role as second-in-command songwriter in the New Pornographers.) One of the complaints I've heard most frequently about Destroyer, and something you'll notice in this song and practically every other one the band has ever recorded, is that many of Bejar's exaggerated vocal mannerisms -- the way he throws his voice in a kind of parody of wild abandon, the pointedly, glitzily arch turns of phrase -- are borrowed directly from David Bowie. This is absolutely true, and it absolutely doesn't bother me, in part because I feel that Bowie's singing is both great and vastly underused as a stylistic starting point, and because I think Bejar uses those mannerisms both as a liberating device and as a sharp and often hilarious commentary on emotional excess and artifice. (And if the poetry of exaggeration is not to your taste, then Destroyer is not for you.)

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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