HERE WE GO MAGIC
Album review: "A Different Ship"
By Benjamin Opipari
Friday, May 11, 2012
Water metaphors are abundant on Here We Go Magic's new album, "A Different Ship." There's the title, of course, but that's not all: The album features artwork of divers, and there's a song called "Over the Ocean." It all contributes to creating an impressionistic album with an ethereal, dreamy quality buoyed by singer-songwriter Luke Temple's falsetto and hazy guitars.
On "Over the Ocean," you're at sea in a psychedelic fog. Gentle strings rush in and out like the tide with sirenlike backing vocals. On other down-tempo songs, there's plenty of space for instruments among the sparse vocals. At times, Temple's relaxed delivery becomes part of the sonic landscape. His voice drifts into the synths, and the two become one.
That's not to say that there aren't hooks. The best songs are those in which powerful bass grooves oppose shimmering synths, such as the first single, "Make Up Your Mind," with a bit of boogie added to the infectious chorus.
But for the most part, the sounds convey feelings. Solitude on the sea is a place for contemplation, and Temple's restrained voice and lyrics perfectly reflect this. On "Alone but Moving," he sings: "Alone but moving, all I really need / Alone but moving, good enough for me." And on "I Believe in Action": "Not moving doesn't mean you don't move." Temple might be alone and adrift, but that seems to suit him fine.