Kaputt - Destroyer
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Dec 22, 2011
    100
    It's unique and warm and beautiful, as love letters are supposed to be.
  2. Jan 25, 2011
    100
    Destroyer's new album Kaputt may be one of the most indefensible albums of all time. But it's also a masterpiece.
  3. Jan 20, 2011
    100
    While Bejar's arrangement decisions challenge popular notions of what delineates good and bad music, shaking off preconceptions in order to immerse yourself in Kaputt's nighttime world is worth the effort.
  4. Jan 19, 2011
    100
    This is a triumphantly singular album that explores a space that only this band could have made.
  5. If, as the artist himself has recently hinted, Kaputt really does mark the end of Destroyer, then it succeeds as a triumphant swan-song.
  6. Jan 25, 2011
    91
    Kaputt rolls luxuriously in its own plush soft-rock grandeur, powerfully alluring and deeply sad at the same time.
  7. 91
    Kaputt nods to Steely Dan and late Roxy Music, and its shimmering synths and moody soft rock would be the perfect soundtrack to a romantic urban noir.
  8. Jun 1, 2011
    90
    Kaputt is a genuine classic, unlike anything any other artist will release in 2011.
  9. Jan 25, 2011
    90
    It feels like Bejar's comfortable with himself – relaxed even – and that feeling saturates the entire album. It's a confidence that makes Kaputt the best Destroyer album in ages.
  10. Jan 24, 2011
    90
    Kaputt is the sound of an artist released from his back catalogue and his own notions of how a song should be sung, or written. It is a mighty, mighty piece of work and really worth celebrating. In my mind, this is Destroyer's best album yet.
  11. Jan 21, 2011
    90
    Bejar's reckless approach to romance is almost certainly one of those things you'd live to regret, but that's the appeal of great artistic endeavours: when the writer can pull in his audience so completely that we experience all the adventure while risking none of the consequences.
  12. Jan 19, 2011
    90
    Graceful, inviting, and evocative as ever, Dan Bejar's assembled the necessary parts for an early-year success.
  13. 90
    Kaputt is the sort of record that arrives only once in a while: an expansive world that captivates you from beginning to end, impresses you with its self-awareness and cohesiveness, then releases you from its grasp when it's all over.
  14. Mar 4, 2011
    89
    Kaputt continues Bejar's winning streak and is an early contender for indie-rock album of the year.
  15. Jan 25, 2011
    88
    Kaputt is hallucinatory and unstructured, grabbing for whatever it likes in the moment -- it's the radio of Bejar's mind, floating off to sleep.
  16. Jan 24, 2011
    88
    Bejar's essential complexity ultimately feels human.
  17. Jan 25, 2011
    86
    Only Bejar knows the logic behind his musical metamorphoses, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy an album as smart and as beguiling as Kaputt.
  18. Jan 25, 2011
    86
    Only Bejar knows the logic behind his musical metamorphoses, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy an album as smart and as beguiling as Kaputt.
  19. Feb 11, 2011
    85
    Kind of like the whole idea of a disco album, a collaboration with a visual artist about African-Americans' tragic history is something you would never expect from Destroyer, and yet once you listen, it seems perfectly authentic, inspired, and essential.
  20. This is how the pleasure principle feels to an alienated unbeliever resigned to engaging the world on his own perverse terms.
  21. Mar 4, 2011
    82
    Kaputt's allure fills up glasses with the finest Chablis in a Nagel print–filled room, and lets Bejar's newfound status as King of Hi-Fi unfold in all of its cryptic finery.
  22. Jun 21, 2011
    80
    Dan Bejar's surprising mix of slinky '80s soft rock and sophisticated disco. [July 2011, p. 106]
  23. 80
    Bejar creates an astonishing world in just nine songs; it's his finest work to date, and excessive, but irresistibly so.
  24. Jun 8, 2011
    80
    Kaputt expresses the Vancouverite's fastidious Anglophilia, rustling up '80s pop opulence while maintaining a scruffy bohemian cred. [July 2011, p. 111]
  25. Jun 3, 2011
    80
    Unique, captivating stuff. [Jul 2011, p.80]
  26. Jun 1, 2011
    80
    Bejar has relaxed his vocal delivery a little here, perhaps to better blend with the rich, shiny detail of his music.
  27. Mar 8, 2011
    80
    Sadly, Dan Bejar tuned down the distinctive cross-hatch in his vocals that has made skin crawl with delight, but, as has remained unchanged for over a decade, his continental blues are heard in his quick-witted lyrics; the lovely laments of Kaputt are full of tongue-in-cheek nuances.
  28. Jan 27, 2011
    80
    Sure it's a little pretentious, but poetic license feels more like a savage gift in Bejar's hands. [Year End 2010, p.69]
  29. Jan 24, 2011
    80
    Not all of Kaputt is so dynamic, and many of the songs require a few listens before they begin to assert their individual identities. But Kaputt does contain riches to rival the previous highpoints in the Destroyer canon.
  30. Jan 25, 2011
    75
    Kaputt is Bejar seemingly at his mellowest, drifting through a world shrouded in synthetic keyboard fog and saxophones.
  31. Jan 27, 2011
    70
    The sounds here aren't quite what people are going out of their way to find these days, but these songs stick around for more than just a casual listen.
  32. Jan 25, 2011
    70
    He's the smartest guy in the room and bent on walking into rooms where nobody wants to listen to him [...] These are the juxtapositions that make Kaputt-and all of Bejar's music-smart and worthwhile.
  33. Jan 25, 2011
    70
    Bejar's ninth disc detours into all manner of early-Eighties smoothness - glassy New Wave bass lines, blue-Monday synths, turquoise- sport-coat saxophones, backup singers straight off a Steely Dan record, all filtered through the obtuse, literary bent that turns Destroyer albums into such fun puzzles.
  34. Jan 25, 2011
    70
    The record as a whole can seem to disappear or evaporate almost as you're listening to it. But that's its charm; that's why you might want to hear it again.
  35. Jan 19, 2011
    70
    Kaputt expresses equal slyness via gratiutious saxophone and trumpet solos. [Feb 2011, p.87]
  36. Jan 19, 2011
    70
    Long on cryptic references (you mean you haven't read Curzio Malaparte's 1944 novel Kaputt?) and Euro-weary mood, the vintage electronic-pop ambience of Destroyer's ninth album recalls the days when MTV emphasized music.
  37. Jan 19, 2011
    70
    Where previous outings like This Night and Streethawk: A Seduction mined the '70s for inspiration, 2011's Kaputt utilizes '80s sophisti-pop, New Romantic, Northern soul, and straight-up adult contemporary to deliver a flawed but fascinating record.
  38. 60
    Kaputt is filled with light, sprightly textures, all pleasant and groovy, but the album still seems to lumber along with breezy but basic sequencer rhythms, indistinct melodies, and sax blowing similarly all the way through.
  39. Jan 25, 2011
    60
    Kaputt is eccentric and enjoyable, but it's no Infidels, which is to say it never quite breaks through its sonic limitations.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Jul 29, 2011
    10
    As of July, this is my favorite album of 2011 by at least one order of magnitude. The same relaxed, funky groove runs throughout the whole record (with the exception of 11-minute closer "Bay of Pigs"), but Dan Bejar finds tons of contrast in his soft rock/disco sound, from the ecstatic "Savage Night at the Opera" to the melancholy "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker." It's Bejar's most gorgeous record, and also his most fun. Full Review »
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    I bloody adore this album. I have two things to say that ought to attract abuse. 1) Comparisons to smooth jazz are stupid and misguided. Retro, absolutely. But the smooth jazz diagnosis is pinning guilt by (mis)association. 2) Relevantly, nothing helps to clarify Bon Iver's recent disappointment more than Kaputt. It shows that Vernon's intentions were worthy and groovy, yet the product was ultimately flaccid and unappealing. Full Review »
  3. Aug 23, 2011
    10
    Perfect. I usually don't appreciate this kind of record, I mean, I often find them pleasant to listen to but never get hooked. With Kaputt, it's completely different. There's something really smooth and genious here, lyrics, instrumental, everything flows perfectly and the songs are so consistent and beautifully produced that I'm lost for words. Full Review »