Here We Go Magic - Be Small - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Here We Go Magic - Be Small

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2015-10-21

The women have jumped ship, so the sound of the remaining trio in this New York indie band has lost some of its softer sheen (departing bassist Jen Turner’s production was always key to capturing their sonic palette). Frontman Luke Temple has foraged through the band’s back-catalogue of live material and cobbled together their fourth album with additional material he worked on at his home studio. ‘Stella’ leaps out of your speakers like the smell from a freshly laundered shirt brightening up a rainy day, while ‘Falling’ and ‘News’ die about three-quarters of the way through, so Temple’s annoying, weirdo musical excursions are still intact (see below).

As are their Rundgrenesque proggy pop tendencies, as evidenced by the title track, which also suggests a musical diet heavily indebted to High Llamas/Sean O’Hagan/Brian Wilson; but for shimmering pop aficionados, that’s can be a good thing. The sequencing could use a revamp so that the super-energentic ‘Candy Apple’ doesn’t stop on a dime and cut into the lounge lizard bedroom groove of ‘Girls In The Early Morning’. It’s like doing 100kmh down the M1 and then slamming the gear into Park. Whiplash city, dude!

           ‘Tokyo London US Korea’ is not a rerouting of M’s ‘Pop Music’ (“New York, London, Paris, Munich…”) but a rather Sting-ing groovefest, and ‘Ordinary Feeling’ aboutfaces again for a dreamy, druggy Neil Young and Crazy Horse-ish countrified nodoff.

           The groove’s definitely the thang here, and there’s a distinct Police vibe throughout, including their habit of overdoing the production and delivering a slightly sanitized, rather slick product. The tendency to toss too many styles into the stew is also disheartening, but may be forgiven as the result of trying to cobble together an album out of old ideas and songs. But the penchant for dropping ridiculous avant garde guitar noises out of nowhere into perfectly enjoyable pop tunes like some spoiled brat who couldn’t get his way in the studio has got to stop. Still, it’s worth a spin or two.

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