Though Destroyer's 2020 album, Have We Met, received slightly better reviews than their newest album and features a charismatic portrait of Dan Bejar on its cover, this album was similarly not a major highlight in this artist's career. Though the music itself is far from bad, something is not quite right with the whole affair. Let's take a deeper look at why Destroyer's recent output just does not quite cut it.
Thematic Disconnection of 'Have We Met'
To be clear, the music of Have We Met is actually pretty cool, and that is easily the highlight element across the record. The problem is with Bejar himself, who seems to be adopting an even more detached persona than usual here. The air of pretentiousness has always lingered in the later era music of Destroyer, but on Have We Met, it nearly causes each song to collapse on itself.
Lyrically, each song is as entertaining as per usual, but Bejar tends to induce boredom with his performance. His persona obscures the meanings somewhat, though there's no doubt each track comes off in its intended manner. There's a quiet theatricality to Have We Met, the sultry soft-spoken character of a one-man show set in a smoky martini lounge.
The Verdict on Destroyer's 2020 Album
If Bejar's performance does not bother you here, you will undoubtedly love this record. The feel of it is exactly as Bejar had hoped, with a front-to-back cohesion as good as his best albums. Unfortunately, his uncaring act is too good, and he comes off as far too insincere. Especially for an artist that has done this level of thoughtful indie-pop multiple times in the 2010s, Have We Met is just a hair below where it should be.