Destroyer

Streethawk: A Seduction

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Destroyer has rightfully been compared to early-'70s David Bowie due to the band's fey, British-sounding pop/rock with pretty keyboard passages, attractive folky acoustic strums, and assertive, fluid electric guitar riffs. Streethawk: A Seduction does nothing to counteract that comparison, particularly when you get to "The Sublimation Hour," which is such an accurate amalgam/facsimile of the Hunky Dory era that it might pass for an outtake if Bowie did the vocals. Not a bad role model to take, it must be admitted, and actually not an overdone one, despite its eminence in the pop consciousness. The most problematic aspects, then, are Daniel Bejar's vocals, which don't match Bowie's in strength or nuance. Sometimes there are shades of Lou Reed as well, though that might be secondhand since everyone knows how heavily Reed influenced Bowie. It might work better if Bejar took a songwriting role and had someone else sing. The lyrics are playful, occasionally observational-ironic, and more oblique than Bowie's, which is saying something as Bowie could be pretty oblique. So it's derivative and inferior to the king of this particular hill. But those reservations aside it's decent music and certainly well-crafted, skillfully varying the moods with a range of subtle, understated arrangements that retain a rock foundation.

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