Destroyer - Poison Season
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2015 Ratings: #38 / 838
User Score
Based on 396 ratings
2015 Ratings: #62
Liked by 3 people
August 28, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge, Dead Oceans / Label
Chamber Pop / Genres
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Pretty Much Amazing

Despite an overarching shagginess, this is an almost seamless artistic and conceptual exercise. Poison Season makes its predecessor appear minor by comparison, like a tuneful lark.

The Skinny
Somehow, Bejar ensures all these pieces fit together seamlessly, and the picture that emerges feels damn close to perfect.
NOW Magazine

Poison Season employs strings, piano and horns to perfectly complement Bejar's even, offhand delivery of lines that, when stitched together, make up a droll, wondrous travelogue of storied metropolitan meccas.

A.V. Club

No matter what the context—horn-section rave-up, string quartet, druggy miasma—he sounds completely at home. Poison Season is the sound of an artist in complete control of the strange chaos around him.

Entertainment Weekly
His follow-up is his most adventurous collection yet. Over 13 tracks, he unspools anthemic power chords, swaggering horns, and gimlet-eyed tales of his journeys around the world, from London to Bangkok.
At nearly an hour in length, it feels immense, but more so from its unexpectedly cinematic stylings than from playing time -- with rotating, scene-setting arrangements (rock, jazz, chamber music) and beat-poetic narrative vignettes of a gritty reality seemingly from another time, or another mind.

After ten albums in close to two decades, the band still sound as vital and inventive as ever, and they're operating at the top of their game on Poison Season.

Drowned in Sound
His slow ascent to the upper echelons of the underground is so unsurprising precisely because, as this latest album aptly demonstrates, Destroyer records speak to what we love about music, even whilst seemingly seeking to make a point out of its inadequacy.
The Line of Best Fit
It makes for hard but rewarding listening, and ultimately the kind of record on which every track becomes its own standout moment.
Bejar’s dismantled the old Destroyer sound, but he’s built something wonderfully disorientating in its stead.
The Guardian

Everything that is potentially offputting – the lyrical opacity, the sonic excess, that voice – is what makes it such a striking and involving piece of work. In fact, it’s Bejar’s best.

No Ripcord

Poison Season is even more sumptuously complete, sleek and highly refined, repurposing the champagne-coated synths of Kaputt with the aid of a full band to further accentuate his high-brow witticisms.


On Poison Season, Bejar’s new trappings may suggest self-sabotage, but the tremendously assured songcraft says otherwise.

Slant Magazine

By his usual standards, Poison Season is shockingly austere and restrained.


Poison Season is another excellent Destroyer album, packed with songs that are graceful, beautiful and, yes, hummable.

Elegant and tender piano and strings mix with the strength of the band he’s been on the road with for the last few years. It’s certainly different to ‘Kaputt’ but it maintains Bejar’s unique voice.
Tiny Mix Tapes

The result is an album that, on the one hand, feels much less focused or cohesive than Kaputt, but on the other hand comes across as all the more confident and playfully mature, precisely because it’s not trying to be.


On Poison Season, Bejar re-embraces street rock, and recontextualises it as well.


He has never made, and will probably never make, a bad album—he's far too accomplished, intuitive, and literate for that. But on Poison Season, you can occasionally detect the dismaying sound of indie rock's greatest intellect second-guessing itself.

Consequence of Sound

While his new album, Poison Season, may not erase Kaputt from anyone’s memory, it is yet another engaging, tangled, beautiful environment, one that will be equally hard to forget.

Loud and Quiet
Compared with other Destroyer LPs, ‘Poison Season’ is a disjointed listen, surprisingly lacking the band’s usual brazen theatrics. Still, Dan Bejar remains indie rock’s last great shapeshifter, and it’s hard not to hear this as a stepping stone to another masterpiece.
He doesn't want you to like 'Poison Season'. Good luck with that: at its best, it's irresistible.
Rolling Stone
Bejar stacks rainy-New York sax magic, sad-astronaut strings and hippie jazzbo grooving to make songs that are as wryly hilarious as they are weirdly affecting.
Under The Radar

That's the cloud Poison Season is under-it's not bad, and it certainly has its moments. But on the heels of Kaputt, it can be a frustrating, uneven listen.

where has this been hiding and why does no one mention this when they discuss Destroyer? this album is pretty much amazing, destroyer continues with his jazz pop style and i absolutely love it
Dan Bejar has one of the most underrated voices in the music industry.

Best Track: Bangkok
Worst Track: Times Square, Poison Season 1
'Poison Season' marks no retreat in terms of ambition or concession to pop appeal after the success of 'Kaputt' but it is perhaps more of a traditional Destroyer album in it's slightly more jumbled and ramshackle approach.

Here Bejar adds classical instrumentation and approximates a louche crooner singing style at key moments lending the enterprise it's own unique decadent appeal.
An instant classic - Dan Bejar has truly outdone himself with this work. There is not a single detail unattended to. With seamless string arrangements, blistering horn solos, and Bejar's incontrovertibly poetic lyrics, we have his masterpiece. Sit back and marvel.
This album is everything I ever wanted from a new Destroyer album. It's beautiful, yet challenging - rewarding those who give it many thoughtful listens. I thought Kaputt was going to be his pinnacle, but he may have surpassed it somehow. Special stuff here.
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Track List

  1. Times Square, Poison Season
  2. Dream Lover
  3. Forces From Above
  4. Hell
  5. The River
  6. Girl in a Sling
  7. Times Square
  8. Archer on the Beach
  9. Midnight Meet the Rain
  10. Solace's Bride
  11. Bangkok
  12. Sun in the Sky
  13. Times Square, Poison Season II
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Added on: May 21, 2015