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New York Cool - Music

Luke Temple Album Review
"Here We Go Magic"
Reviewed by Will Jamieson


At first glance, Luke Temple's new record "Here We Go Magic" seemed likely to be a pleasant enough stroll down the well-trod path of agreeable guitar pop. You know the drill, right? Boring as hell drums, sad sack lovelorn lyrics, well-crafted melodies, and nothing to get irritated about. But as to why this reviewer was so sure he had this record pegged before listening remains a mystery, but it somehow felt destined to be an accurate prediction. Happily, Mr. Temple manages to cling to a few tried-and-true tropes without sounding like every other Johnny-come-lately Brooklyn music phenom, and he also manages to push things a bit further out there without coming off all wannabe space cadet. For every recognizable old trick, there's an unexpected twist, like the waves and synth mood piece "Ghost List" or the keyboard whirlwind that crashes the middle of "Fangala." There are shades of Animal Collective here and there, in the vague, hazy atmospherics of the record and notable lack of snooze-inducing rhythm patterns. The standout here, in both title and execution, would have to be "I Just Want to See You Underwater" which slowly builds to a busy, loping finish; "underwater" is indeed the word.

By the record's second half, things have really been pushed into outer space; save the ever-so-ground closer "Everything's Big." Temple leans hard on the oft-employed trick of starting his songs with sonic abstractions, buzzy watercolors from which tuneful wanderings emerge and then disappear, almost like a radio picking up a forgotten old melody and then quickly losing its signal. All in all, Luke Temple has crafted an engaging record which sets a mood and tries to explore some of the outer reaches of that mood while still relying on some familiar tricks to keep the proceedings relatively grounded. Hell of a lot better than a boring old guitar pop record.


 




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