Destroyer - Streethawk: A Seduction (2001) MP3/Flac

But then there's Streethawk, a record of practically nothing but graceful abandon. Each line seems immaculately crafted, every note falling into perfect order, every word sung with the proper bite and bile. This is what Bejar was building to, why he became a songwriter in the first place, and he reaches quite a precipice. Songs move effortlessly between bits of received wisdom, the drama is amped up to almost unthinkable levels, and these tunes feel like a long series of exclamation points. The guy got really good really fast, and he knew it-- his wit is sharp, his observations are keen, and his gaze is withering.

Bejar's pop songcraft gets a real shot in the arm here; instead of burying his best lines in verses, he builds his rave-ups around them, and the songs feel like a series of unlikely peaks that, in less able hands, would topple in seconds. You could study this music at academy; you can also pump a fist to it. It can at first feel overwhelming or overstuffed, but the salty poetry and barrage of hooks eventually starts to make its own kind of sense; beyond brimming over with ideas, if it's got a flaw, it's that it wasn't issued with a glossary. This is the payoff for years of head-down dedication to craft-- all these monstrous choruses and anthems-to-be; all those difficult years of working and reworking to make himself a better songwriter until, finally, he was one of the best we've got. He still is.

— Paul Thompson, April 19, 2010