Published Nov 22, 2013It's hard to decide exactly where Five Spanish Songs fits into the Destroyer catalogue. It hardly feels like a natural progression from the smoothness of its predecessor, Kaputt, yet it shares much of its romanticism, even if it's masked behind another language. The album also harkens back to the earlier days of his work, when arrangements were more traditional and sparse.
As the title suggests, the EP is a collection of five songs performed in Spanish. This, according to his label's press release, is due to Bejar's apparent disillusionment with the English language. The songs aren't even his own — all five were written by Spanish musician Antonio Luque and performed by Luque's band Sr. Chinarro — yet Bejar has an obvious connection with the material. His delivery is earnest and emotive enough that even non-Spanish speakers will get the gist of what he's singing about. Glam-rock stomper "El Rito" is surprisingly immediate and hummable, but the real highlight is "Babieca" with its slow building frenetic guitars and flamenco flourishes.
Five Spanish Songs is satisfying enough for its 20-minute runtime, but it definitely lacks the heft of his recent work; without his distinctive lyrics, it doesn't really feel like proper Destroyer. It's still better than no Destroyer at all, buts fans will no doubt hope he overcomes his aversion to English in time for his next record. (Merge)