Spencer Krug may be our generations Robert Pollard. Both seem to excrete music. Both create surreal visions full of vibrant characters and dense metaphor. Like Pollard's best albums, Dragonslayer sweeps us across a landscape replete with broken lovers and ephemeral romance and lonesome dirges.
The connections between characters, images, and ideas are easier to spot than on 2007s more elusive Random Spirit Lover. On Idiot Heart, we catch Krugs quixotic stumble, If I found you in this city, and called it Paradise, Id say, I love you but I hate this city. The song which begins with Krugs affected, "No, I was never much of a dancer, but I know enough to know you gotta move ends with a furious chant of I hope that you die in a decent pair of shoes - you got a lot more walking to do where youre going to. Its as if Krug has lost control of a relationship, a person, and is now focused to those remnants of memory which he can direct.
In 2007, his taming of the gown saw him trying to capture the energy of a burgeoning relationship; on Dragonslayer, we see him grappling with the loss of that energy. He retreats into these worlds of his own construct, announcing My heart is a kingdom where the king is a heart. My heart is king, the king of hearts. These songs are Krugs escape sonic empires over which Krug asserts complete control. It is here, in these protected worlds, where Krug can scrutinize the demons which defied his attempts at taming.
Ultimately, this album is more approachable than any of Sunsets previous works. We hear a broken Krug wrestling with his assailants. It is the most straightforward look weve seen of him, and the subtraction of Krugs trademark crypticism allows us to connect with him as a person as well as an artist. At the end of the album, when he asserts the following...
I see us all as lonely fires / That have burned alive as long as we remember / Like all fireworks and all sunsets / We all burn in different ways / You are a vast explosion and I am the embers.
...we are simply left to sizzle.
8.9 / 10
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