Here We Go Magic: Pigeons (Secretly Canadian) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Here We Go Magic


Secretly Canadian

Jun 11, 2010 Issue #31 - Spring 2010 - Joanna Newsom Bookmark and Share

The second album from Luke Temple's Here We Go Magic expands on the sound of his self-titled debut, which created rhythms and melodies from scratch, rotating them around each other in unexpected ways. The one drawback of that first effort was a sagging second half, a problem that threatens to repeat itself on Pigeons with the lackluster "Bottom Feeder," but then the beautiful "Moon" erases any doubts.

Pigeons also finds Temple working well with others, the result being an inescapable momentum that begins with the unexpected funk of "Hibernation," one of many songs that shows an intimate understanding of Brian Eno's catalogue, especially his work with David Byrne and Talking Heads (one listen to the closing "Herbie I Love You, Now I Know" will convince any doubters). Temple and Co. follow that with "Collector," which emerges as an early favorite to be the first windows-down, driving fast, summer's almost here jam. The lyrics are fun as well, with Temple showing off his sense of humor, an underrated talent that serves him well. "I've got a mild fascination/with collectors," he sings. "Your girlfriend says it's time to sell/But everything fits so well."

Pigeons has a definitive '70s vibe, with a retro-futuristic sound that relies heavily on bass, synth, and tinny drums. "Land of Feeling" could easily be from the land of Ziggy Stardust, an era that suits Temple's breathy voice well.

Temple's true talent, however, lies in rhythm, and the percussive elements of all instruments are put on display. "Vegetable or Native" assembles bells, chimes, shakers, and layered vocals into a coherent whole that bows out and then reforms around a frantic, distant keyboard program. It's not the kind of song one would rush home to play, but it feels like critical support for the other 10 tracks. Perhaps this is Temple's greatest trick: convincing listeners that each piece holds importance. (

Author rating: 8/10

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