Destroyer's Rubies

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2006
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. It's an easy Destroyer album to love, approachable as both a collection of strong rock songs and a literary exercise in just how far songs can stretch to make sense of the words within them.
  2. Destroyer’s Rubies evinces an awareness of a feeling that “I’ve heard something like this before, and really enjoyed it” while denying the listener enough material specifics to follow-up with “It was on this record, recorded by this band, which I listened to when I was this old.”
  3. Filter
    91
    In context, Rubies [is] just another piece of the puzzle, but it's the finest jewel yet. [#19, p.99]
  4. Spin
    91
    Hooky, spare, and lush all at once. [Mar 2006, p.95]
  5. In drawing on the theatrical, macro-orchestrations reminiscent of Scott Walker and expanding on the slapdash, quirky, musical humor of the Red Krayola's Mayo Thompson, this album reaches another peak for Bejar and is one of Destroyer's best works yet.
  6. It's tempting to spend hours excavating metaphors and translating references on a record this complex and interesting, but Destroyer's Rubies also works well as pop.
  7. Destroyer’s Rubies is every bit as marvelous as his landmark Streethawk: A Seduction.
  8. The stupendous Destroyer's Rubies, recorded with a full, swaggering band, is maybe his best and certainly his least theoretical album.
  9. Those who choose to fixate on Bejar's lack of a pretty singing voice are missing the point. Much like John Darnielle, everything outside of Bejar's verse should be seen as peripheral -- a means to deliver the lyrical ends.
  10. Paste Magazine
    90
    The only thing about Destroyer's Rubies that might shock existing fans is that Bejar's execution, ambition and passion have been buffed to a high shine. [Apr/May 2006, p.102]
  11. This is the defining Destroyer work because of its size and scope, because of its melodicism ("Painter in Your Pocket" the hottest pop song Bejar's authored yet), because of the caliber of its musical chops, and because of the shots Bejar continues to fire.
  12. Uncut
    90
    A singular, rhapsodic triumph. [Apr 2007, p.94]
  13. Encapsulating and elevating the best of Destroyer's back catalog, Destroyer's Rubies serves as a potent reminder that the intelligence of Bejar's songs has never obfuscated their emotional weight.
  14. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    His insider snipes at indie-rock pretense show Wildean wit. [24 Feb 2006, p.64]
  15. Bejar is so wound up in his own idiosyncratic mythologies, so hopelessly himself that some fans have already said it sounds like a greatest hits record; appropriate that a meta-rocker’s final frontier is his own reflection in the mirror.
  16. Bejars songs have, in the past, sometimes seemed like vehicles for his lyrics, yet with Destroyer’s Rubies he seems to have made peace with the musical element of his work as well.
  17. While the sheer density of Bejar's writing can be overwhelming, Destroyer's Rubies is, on a musical level, the most 'accessible' disc he's released in years.
  18. An amalgam of Streethawk: A Seduction's glam rock posturing, This Night's guitar-heavy psychedelia, and Your Blues' apocalyptic wordplay.
  19. It feels like an event: grand, sumptuous, sometimes seductive.
  20. All self-examination aside, there's a lot of substance here. Vocally, he has rarely been more on point, and the instrumental ensemble is sound and uniquely Rubiesian.
  21. Alternative Press
    80
    Rubies is nothing if not ambitious. [Apr 2006, p.204]
  22. Destroyer’s Rubies is one of those rare albums whose literary value is so compelling as to make any imperfections simply blend in as an essential part of the storyline.
  23. Destroyer's Rubies is an inadvertent Guide To Destroyer - every defining quirk, every 70's pop nod and ill-advised but forgivable falsetto is condensed and framed, only without becoming something fans of Bejar will have all heard before.
  24. Blender
    80
    Bejar's most accessible album yet. [Apr 2006, p.111]
  25. Urb
    80
    Fey and whimsical, these songs are challenges that reward. [Apr 2006, p.96]
  26. Rubies is one of the most enjoyable listens from Bejar’s solo catalog and comfortably stands with 2002’s This Night as his best effort.
  27. Anyone on the fence after 2004's Your Blues need only hear Bejar bark, "I tried to enjoy myself at the society ball" on the luxurious "A Dangerous Woman up to a Point" to see his strength as a songwriter.
  28. One of [Bejar's] most accomplished (and self-studied) albums, but it’s also one of his least vital.
  29. Under The Radar
    70
    Adventuruous fare, somewhat mellower than previous efforts, but equally sporadic and striking. [#12, p.90]
  30. Overall, listeners will struggle to classify "Rubies," as much for Bejar's blurring of bluesy folk, pop and lo-fi indie rock as his unconventional delivery.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 118 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 73
  2. Negative: 10 out of 73
  1. Mar 2, 2016
    10
    It's very difficult to not love this album after the first listen. But is practically impossible to do it after a few more. It's perfect, DanIt's very difficult to not love this album after the first listen. But is practically impossible to do it after a few more. It's perfect, Dan Bejar really knows how to balance a song, with good melodies, rhythms and an excellent songwriting. Every song hear has its own personality but they also contribute to make the album work as a whole. A very good listen for anyone who likes indie-rock but an excellent listen for the ones that like how this music can change its form and evolve into something else. Full Review »
  2. WesM.
    Aug 31, 2008
    10
    (I forget whether or not I already rated this) Anyway, it takes a few listens, but every track - with expected variance, and if you can (I forget whether or not I already rated this) Anyway, it takes a few listens, but every track - with expected variance, and if you can handle the pretentiousness - is really good indie rock! Full Review »
  3. AndyG
    Mar 19, 2008
    9
    Incredible music, and lyrics that you can tune out for a bit, then tune in again and become engaged immediately.