Review: Luke Temple, ‘Good Mood Fool’
Standout Tracks: Hard Working Man, Katie, Florida, Love Won’t Receive
Luke Temple’s newest solo attempt, ‘Good Mood Fool’ (out on Secretly Canadian today), begins with Hard Working Hand. It feels like 40s blues meets 80s pop, with a funk undercurrent. Lyrically it’s a-typical of what exploded out of a booming economy built around hardworking men (It’s all very mid 20th century).
The track is emblematic of the album’s style: classic with very modern instrumentation. This modernization continues during the second track and lead single, Katie, which brings to mind Prince and falls into an industrial 80s funk pop sound.
Florida is like a lush dream, a graceful dancer slowly and unassumingly following the funky rhythms, suckling every note and embellishment. This song is almost sexual, in its own tender and guiding way; the emotional depth of the lyrics is unexpected. It enters a similar vein of 40s/50s style lyricism hiding a deeper motivation; sultry funk & blues beats support lyrics that tell the tale of a friend’s woes over familial addictions.
These first three tracks capture the essence of the album, and are the strongest elements. As ‘Good Mood Fool’ continues it establishes Luke Temple as a blues/folk singer, employing a funk structure, modern instruments and classic bass lines. This pattern continues on Love Won’t Receive. It creates a strongly emotive instrumental rhetoric where over-stimulation and overproduction aren’t the norm; its use of superficially hollow sounding orchestration is effective in creating a new kind of lush sonic landscape.
Temple is a wandering artist, and as a moment in his personal trajectory this album situates itself at the forefront of what will eventually be his seminal works.