When we first heard from Here We Go Magic on their self-titled album, the work was largely the product of Luke Temple. On Pigeons, we find Luke extending the olive branch to his bandmates, collaborating on the collection of tunes, which leads to a more complete sound for the group, and one that shows a great deal of cohesiveness.
A crazy little bass line opens up the album, coated by the usual layering of the rest of the group on “Hibernation.” More construction seems to be the biggest difference here, as details are fleshed out in every bit of space. Temple’s vocals are really soothing, almost warm, which makes the vocal more of just another way to fill out the sound. It all leads into one of the band’s best songs to date, “Collector.” Temple’s vocal delivery when he says “I got a mild fascination” just gets me every time, and its not even the best vocal performance of his on the song. Furious pacing by guitars and drums alike barely give you time to breathe, and before you know it you’re blasting on towards the end.
Some weird moments pop up throughout Pigeons, and perhaps this is just a personal thing. By weird I mean there are some odd influences, that may not be conscious ones at all. “Casual” really has a Stereolab feel to it, using electronic beats to build gentle melodies, with very soft vocals barely sitting atop the mix. “Bottom Feeder” is one of those sneaky tracks that doesn’t seem to fit quite into the entire album, although the Nada Surf feel might not be too far fetched for these NYC kids. It’s a gem of a pop song, though it doesn’t fit the mold of the rest of the songs, but just focus on the fact that its a killer track. Let’s not forget the quirky “Old World United,” which just feels good to listen to it. It’s got a throbbing bass line and key use of electronic touches allows for maximum amounts of listening pleasure.
While the latter half of the record seems to largely be constructed of more jamming pieces, such as the fast paced “Moon,” the variance softer numbers are some of the more rewarding upon repeated listens. “F.F.A.P.” moves really slowly, and its one of the few songs of the set where Here We Go Magic seems to let Temple’s voice shine through, which it should do more often. His voice holds this track in place while the music is secondary, used more as filler. But, while those bright moments have all shown greatly during Pigeons, the album end sort of anticlimactically. Two of the shortest songs close it out, and they seem more likely to be moments of tinkering and studio downtime than well thought out tracks one would include on a record. It’s the one disappointing thing about the entire group of songs because up until this point in the album, it appeared that the group was really hitting their stride. Alas, those weak moments aside, you’ll find growth and depth in the sound of Here We Go Magic, and no one can complain with artistic progress.
Download: Here We Go Magic – Collector [MP3]