• destroyer Your Blues (CD, £9.75)

    label: Acuarela

    Spanish edition contains 3 extra tracks. On Your Blues, Dan Bejar, the crazily-talented Canadian singer-songwriter and sometime member of supergroup New Pornographers, returned to his earlier, multi-tracked, Paul McCartney-as-a-poststructuralist self. The result is lovely. This is pop music that revels in cagey wordplay and references to other songs and art in a manner that's almost completely unpretentious. It's postmodern and deliciously decadent, but more in an '80s way than a self-consciously Brechtian or Symbolist one. The best part is that Bejar puts so many hooks in each song, it's difficult to avoid bad puns involving bait and tackle shops. Songs such as "Don't Become the Thing You Hated" and "The Music Lovers" are MIDI folk-rock, the joyous soundtrack to cultural apocalypse. Fans of Serge Gainsbourg, Marc Bolan, Young Marble Giants, Style Council, Felt, Magnetic Fields, and the Aluminum Group, step right up! Your Blues was easily among the best pop albums of 2004.

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