Here We Go Magic | A Different Ship

Secretly Canadian
By RYAN REED  |  May 8, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

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On paper, at least, it's a match made in psychedelic alt-rock heaven: Brooklyn quintet Here We Go Magic perfected their loopy, experimental pop on 2010's under-appreciated lo-fi gem Pigeons; meanwhile, producer Nigel Godrich (widely recognized as the unofficial "sixth member of Radiohead") has a knack for magnifying a band's sound, maximizing every note with glowing studio spaciousness. Their collaboration proves fruitful on A Different Ship, Here We Go Magic's third LP. Godrich spit-shines the template they perfected on Pigeons, de-cluttering the dizzying sugar-rush arrangements and allowing frontman Luke Temple's soft, sweet, Paul Simon–esque tenor to soar higher than it ever has. Sonically, it's jaw-dropping, particularly on headphones: every cymbal splash and synth squiggle purr up-close and personal. But most of these 10 tracks are so subtle, they might drift past unnoticed if you're not listening hard enough. "Make Up Your Mind" is the closest A Different Ship comes to a deliriously catchy "Collector"-type moment, whizzing away with jagged, kraut-rock guitar loops and huge washes of synth. More typical are Martian slow-jams like "Alone But Moving" and "Over the Ocean," which crawl and pulse but barely bloom. A Different Ship, to be sure — not as giddy, rarely as emphatic, but very beautiful.

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