Here We Go Magic - Pigeons - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Here We Go Magic - Pigeons

by Rich Morris Rating:7 Release Date:2010-06-07

Like The Beach Boys jamming with Can, Here We Go Magic's second album is full of melodic joy and rhythmic surprise. First track 'Hibernation' skips around like Muhammad Ali in the ring, never settling in one spot long enough for you to get a grip on it. Second track 'Collector' follows suit, zooming off into the sunset, leaving summery vapour trails behind it.

Here We Go Magic's trick is to make everything here sound like classic pop, no matter how unconventional it gets. As well as the afore mentioned Beach Boys, there're hints of Belle & Sebastian, The Eagles and New Order studded throughout the album. This melodic vivacity has developed thanks to the five-piece group Here We Go Magic has now swelled to, after starting off as the project of just Luke Temple. The newfound expansiveness means that not a song goes by without some kind of melodic hook to pull the listener in.

However, it's the record's idiosyncrasies which will keep you coming back, such as the bubbling cauldron of vintage synth sounds beneath the melody of 'Casual', recalling Air, or the nutty seesaw rhythm of 'Old World United'. For sheer strangeness, however, look no further than 'Vegetable or Native', where falsetto vocals chant the song's title over clattering African rhythms before Krautrock-style electronic effects drag everything into an acid-fried world of echo. It's actually an album highlight, and Here We Go Magic's genius lies in managing to segue seamlessly from it to closing track 'Herbie I Love You, Now I Know', a jazzy, trippy hip-hop vignette which would be right at home on Cosmogramma by Flying Lotus.

Pigeons also surprises with some downbeat moments, like the ghostly doo wop-via-dub of 'F.F.A.P.', where the mix of wiry post-punk guitar and aching harmonies combine to create something special and unique. 'Land of Feeling', meanwhile, is right on trend with its 10cc-referencing MOR harmonies and desolate, lovelorn vocals. With such a cornucopia of styles and influences, Pigeons is for the most part a dazzling listen. Only mid-album tracks 'Surprise' and 'Bottom Feeder' drag a little with their more conventional indie sounds. However, absolutely nothing on this album could be described as mere filler. Instead, even Pigeons' simpler songs are undeniably strong and, often, wonderfully strange.

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