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Here We Go Magic
Pigeons Michael Waters , June 30th, 2010 08:51

This follow-up to his self-titled debut sees Brooklyn boy Luke Temple abandon a hissing lo-fi ethic in favour of a lucidity of production and rich well-rounded textures. It is, needless to say, a gesture that has been particularly fashionable over the last year and a half or so. Here we go: although it is difficult to deny that his sound loses some Magic from this process, dumping the 4-track doesn't seem to carve Temple out as an indie Judas, simply because the sound of this album is so far removed from that of the previous work.

Superficially, a lot of Pigeons seems derivative of other hip Brooklyn outfits: 'Surprise', for example, draws instantly placeable influence from Grizzly Bear – perhaps a forgivable upshot a month-long run of live dates with them last summer. At every turn there are shades of other Pitchfork-approved indie folkwits, but each instance of this almost seems to justify itself in one way or another. Many of the songs – most notably the infectious, exhaled chorus hook of 'Casual' and the somehow simultaneously funky and haunting opener 'Hibernation' – are suspiciously reminiscent of (not so Secretly) Canadian electro-pop act Caribou. Yet this this record is arguably a more refreshing listen than any Caribou release, thus saving any similarity from becoming a frustration.

Some of the extended repetitive passages could make those of an aggressive disposition want to climb onto their roofs and start taking pot shots at the feathered rats of the album's title. Yet for others, there's a certain restraint that can be comforting, even when the bass is playing one pitch for what seems like an eternity. The manner in which the album happily leans on the twenty-first-century indie trends of retrospection – analogue synth timbres, fetishised 60s vocals etc. – by no means exposes a lack of invention.

A subtle diversity differentiates Here We Go Magic from their innumerable stylistic brethren: while 'F.F.A.P' and 'Bottom Feeder' exhibit an aptitude at ballad-penning, for instance, 'Land of Feeling' more imagines The Beatles soundtracking a porno (quite deliberately, one can safely assume). The lead single 'Collector' is a light-footed locomotive that sees a happy mid-summer wedding of kraut and twee sensibilities and climaxes with a wonderful motorik drive. Temple's musical sidestep has made Pigeons a chastely energetic opus of superbly-crafted timbral detail.

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