"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.