Luke Temple: Good Mood Fool (Secretly Canadian) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Luke Temple

Good Mood Fool

Secretly Canadian

Oct 23, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Luke Temple’s songwriting template has followed a decidedly circuitous path throughout the late ’00s and early ’10s. Beginning with fairly conventional troubadour fare on a few excellent solo albums which showcased his beguiling vocals, he veered off course and crafted the homespun eponymous Here We Go Magic album in 2009, subverting his nonpareil pipes with tape loops and sundry nifty recording techniques. The act evolved into a full-fledged band, and recorded with Nigel Godrich on last year’s A Different Ship, embracing a jammier, Kraut-infused sound. Now, Temple has again switched gears and crafted a soul-inflected love letter to his icons on the sublime Good Mood Fool.

The record kicks off with “Hard Working Hand,” which for a few fleeting seconds comes across as a bizarro futuristic riff on The Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra,” before Temple’s honeyed vocals kick in over subtle funk beats and staccato synth stabs. As on much of this record, downbeat lyrics belie the upbeat instrumentation, as Temple laments, “It’s not easy/Six in the morning, babe/You’ve gotta bite the bullet if you’re gonna survive.”

“Florida” features a stunning dub groove, as Temple’s soaring falsetto cautions, “You better hold out your hand/If it’s a line you understand/Cross it, baby, and move on,” perhaps alluding to the recent rash of shootings in the Sunshine State. The mood becomes even darker on “Terrified Witness,” as Temple recounts the horror of Hiroshima, eerily intoning, “When that light comes falling/You’re gonna be an x-ray, baby.”

The whole of Good Mood Fool is pervaded with a sense of apocalyptic dread, yet Temple never wallows. He gloriously and lovingly nods to musical heroes Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Miles Davis while steadfastly remaining forward-thinking. While referencing horrors both recent and distant, Temple is acutely aware that music can’t change the world. But on a record this compelling, it certainly can redeem, heal, and ultimately galvanize, providing an aural light that’s downright irresistible. (www.facebook.com/LukeTempleMusic)

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