Despite what some of my family may believe to the contrary, I pride myself on being fairly open-minded when it comes to music. I’ll give most anything a chance at least cursorily, but I’ll admit some music has the odds stacked against it and needs to be on its game from the word go (i.e. vapid garbage like Katy Perry). Dan Bejar’s 2011 effort with Destroyer, entitled Kaputt, likely earned the harshest negative reviews I assigned to an album without many preconceived notions. My perception of the record was that Bejar was pulling an elaborate joke on the many hipsters who did not think the effort a total turd, coyly repackaging a shitty Kenny G. record with a bright new retro sheen.
[mp3] Destroyer // Leave Me Alone (New Order Cover)
As a testament to my open-mindedness, despite reviling his most recent work, I still approached Bejar’s recent cover of New Order’s “Leave Me Alone.” I am certainly happy I did. From the prominent opening bass strums and the powerful guitar chords interwoven, the melodies remind me of what I so often adored in early Interpol. Once the snappy drums induce your head to bounce before Bejar’s soft vocals enter, it brings the song to a place impossible to imagine any differently, rendering the also excellent original almost (but not really) moot. Bejar completely owns this track, and it’s one that gets better with each listen. It’s even almost enough to make me rethink the steaming pile of shit that was his smooth-jazz ode to elevator music in Kaputt. But mostly it solidifies my previously held belief that it was an elaborate joke to get people to like shitty music solely due to his skill and the accompanying expectation of greatness, though I must admit an extremely competent one at that.