Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship


Artist: Here We Go Magic
Title: A Different Ship
label: Secretly Canadian
Rating: 6.8

A Different Ship is a shrug and a nod. Sure there are a few promising cuts on there for a summer playlist or two, but I won’t be buying it on vinyl. I think that’s where the problem lies in this album…. it’s background noise and why would I spend
$19.98 on background noise?

The stream of consciousness style of writing can only go so far before it goes from being dreamy to lackadaisical. I find there’s something really rewarding about an album being challenging to listen to. It provokes your musically trained ear to forget what you’ve come accustomed to and the result is something well… magic. I wasn’t challenged by this album, I was bored. There was no ‘holy shit’ factor,
I stayed in my comfort zone, and so did the band.

Looking back on Here We Go Magic’s past releases, there seems to be a certain punch, a ‘tude if you will. They were ballsy. Even just comparing past album art to now there is an obvious shift in style.
Hand drawn technicolor monsters have been replaced by a muted geographic image. It seems to me that the band has retreated into an area of safe comfort. They got too old for the cacophony they had created and settled down for simplicity.

That being said, I have been sitting at my computer listening to the album on repeat. Sometimes there is
a place for simplicity like this. Had I been on a road trip to Vancouver Island with my hand waving out
the window tracing the trees and cars like I did when I was 9, perhaps this album wouldn’t be so dull.
The right environment can make any album listenable… it shouldn’t have to, but it can surely help. In
the case of A Different Ship this is certainly true. As soon as I listened to it as background noise it went from being a flatline drone to a pleasant and distant ambience.

I guess the trick to not being completely disappointed by a Different Ship is not to listen to it, but to
hear it.

Ali Haberstroh

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