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CD Review: Deerhunter

Halcyon Digest (4AD)


Deerhunter's music can be so repulsive it actually becomes seductive, like it did on 2008's Microcastle. And just as that album made fans wade through a valley of dead air between the dreamy "Little Kids" and the anthemic "Nothing Ever Happened," Halcyon Digest features big listless gaps between its not-as-majestic highlights. The surprises are in the arena-rock send-ups: "Coronado"'s funky sax, the Edge-style guitars in "Fountain Stairs," the E Street harmonica of "Memory Stairs." But to get there you have to first dig out of "Revival," "Sailing," and "Helicopter," where frontman Bradford Cox surrounds himself with one of his, and Halcyon Digest's, prettiest environments. But all the drowned sonics are enough to make you long for something relatively pleased with itself — like, say, Hail to the Thief — before the seven swirling minutes of "He Would Have Laughed" destroy all memories of what came before it. — Dan Weiss

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