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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Canada is on a roll. "South Park" cracks are down, hockey attendance is up and their dollar is making ours the new peso.

As a bonus, every couple of years Vancouver's Dan Bejar drops a batch of catchy freak-folk pop songs that manage to find their way across the border. But with all of Canada's cherished exports - maple syrup, Michael J. Fox, Wonderbra - Bejar, aka Destroyer, gets lost in the mix. But he shouldn't.

Another solid album, "Trouble In Dreams" plays half-awake, half-asleep, balancing sprightly pop tunes with lazy Sunday afternoon ballads.

Stellar Bowie-nod "The State" captures both sounds, meshing woozy guitar lines with frenetic, whenever-the-hell-I-feel-like-it drumming and Bejar's drunken ranting.

It's a glorious mess.

Towering centerpiece "Shooting Rockets" is further evidence that Canadian therapists make a good living. Dark and confessional, it would make Eliot Spitzer blush.

More upbeat, "Rivers" contains a killer hook, the refrain, "You've always had a problem floating down rivers." It could be about an ex-lover or a rock. With this much melody, it doesn't matter.

The song exemplifies Bejar's trademark enigmatic storytelling.

Indeed, within "Dreams," a fine line separates lucidity from sanctuary, and Bejar pogos the divide in a way only a poet can.

His obscure lyrics offer bleak confessions cloaked in "what the hell does he mean?" metaphors.

Bejar's audience will come away with two impressions. First, like a dream, it's quite a trick to comprehend, but certainly engrossing. The second is more of a question: Canada's got a good thing going, eh?

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