Luke Temple

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Luke Temple: Hold a Match for a Gasoline World (2005), 6/10
Luke Temple: Snowbeast (2007), 6/10
Here We Go Magic: Here We Go Magic (2009), 6/10
Here We Go Magic: Pigeons (2010), 5.5/10
Luke Temple: Don't Act Like You Don't Care (2011), 4.5/10
Here We Go Magic: A Different Ship (2012), 5/10

New York's singer-songwriter and banjoist Luke Temple started his career in the psychedelic-baroque pop-folk vein of Sufjan Stevens, although equipped with a Paul Simon-esque falsetto: Hold a Match for a Gasoline World (2005), with Make Right with You, and Snowbeast (2007), with Saturday People.

Here We Go Magic (2009) was billed as a self-standing project under that moniker, and included the tribal and psychedelic Fangela (that seems to hail from the stoned Sixties), the exotic Only Pieces and the intricate Tunnelvision, although the Brian Eno-esque surreal (and dissonant) instrumentals almost stole the show.

Once it became a real band's project, Here We Go Magic's second album Pigeons (2010) failed to capitalize on their most eccentric and original ideas. The album actually sounds like just an overblown vehicle for the admittedly cute single Collector, a frenzied propulsive rhythm a` la Neu and Feelies coupled with Yes-like vocals. Once the danceable (Hibernation) and catchy (Bottom Feeder) ditties are consumed, the rest sounds like outtakes or amateurishly improvised new tunes for the sake of looking innovative, with none of the deviant intelligence of the previous album's instrumentals. Like on the first album, what truly stands out is the meticulous arrangements (especially of the rhythmic parts).
The six-song The January EP (2011) was a corollary to the album, and one wonders why Tulip and especially Song in Three were not included in the album in the first place.

Luke Temple's solo album Don't Act Like You Don't Care (2011), mostly recorded two years before being released, sounds like what it was: an unfinished project of mediocre material that needed major revisions and editing.

Here We Go Magic's A Different Ship (Secretly Canadian, 2012), produced by Nigel Godrich, suffered from a problem of sound overload: the creative arrangements of the previous albums took on a life of their own, turning into a vanity show instead of genre cross-pollination. The trancey boogie Make Up Your Mind, the Talking Heads-ian shuffle I Believe in Action, and the dreamy R.E.M.-ish ballad How Do I Know would have made a good three-song EP. Here We Go Magic had transformed from the Simon & Garfunkels of their generation into Radiohead wannabes.

Here We Go Magic's keyboardist Kristina Lieberson launched her project Teen with In Limbo (Carpark, 2012).

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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