Art Feynman - Half Price at 3​:​30 Music Album Reviews

Under his oddball alter ego, Here We Go Magic’s Luke Temple presents himself as an Auto-Tune balladeer, Afrobeat enthusiast, and skilled craftsman of moody synth pop.

Who the hell is Art Feynman? Judging by his babushka, bucket hat, side pony, and sherbet-colored clothing, he might be a psychedelic bee keeper—or maybe a stoned ceramicist with his own public access TV show. The reality is not quite as silly: Feynman is Luke Temple’s oddball alter ego (the ponytail, alas, is a wig). As Feynman, Temple seems to detach slightly from reality, resulting in music that’s more impish than his prior solo work or his output with Here We Go Magic. His peculiar character looks as though he’s tumbled through a number of decades to wander ours as an observant stranger. On Half Price at 3:30—Temple’s second album as Feynman—the narrator roams around at a safe distance from secondary characters. He parcels his reflections into subtle but unexpected pop songs that bridge contemporary production with compositional nods to Paul Simon, Arthur Russell, and Harry Nilsson.

If Temple’s prior release as Feynman—2017’s Blast Off Through the Wicker—marked his most consistent work, Half Price at 3:30 straddles a taut line between cohesion and the urge to flaunt a few styles. Across the album’s tidy 45 minutes, Temple presents himself as an Auto-Tune balladeer, Afrobeat enthusiast, and skilled craftsman of moody synth pop. The brooding duo of “Taking on Hollywood” and “The Physical Life of Marilyn” exemplify the latter genre, sending Temple’s alias stalking the ghosts of Sunset Strip.

In “Taking on Hollywood,” Temple croons through a vocoder while Tron arpeggios and plastic clicks scurry beneath. He sings with the delusions of a fresh L.A. transplant, laying out plans for his “future mausoleum” like an upwardly mobile actor/waiter. (In truth, he sounds more like a robot navigating empty streets.) “The Physical Life of Marilyn,” meanwhile, is a Hollywood noir that evokes the Cars’ darkest hits. Temple reaches into his lower register, coasting on stretched-out synths like he’s driving past the iconic star’s glass house on the hill. Temple is so adept at crafting atmosphere within his songs, it’s easy to see into her home—a box of incandescent light perched on a shadowy slope.

Half Price at 3:30 has no shortage of dark and seedy moments, but Temple keeps bouncy pop numbers in steady rotation. “China Be Better” (which Temple assures is about a friend, not the country) is an early highlight. Temple’s clean alto, dry percussion, and buoyant synth rhythms recall Arthur Russell’s “Arm Around You.” But even smiling Art Feynman’s sweetest melodies contain bitter pith: “You filled up my life with madness,” he sings, before admitting: “Now I can see there’s madness in me.”


“I’m Gonna Miss Your World” and “Not My Guy” are additional displays of Temple’s pop acumen, both bobbing over bubbly Afrobeat arrangements. In the former, Temple repeats a simple refrain of longing, tossing melancholy with rubbery bass and tart horn patches—perhaps a wink at Hearts and Bones-era Paul Simon. “Not My Guy” provides the LP’s goofiest and most delightful moment, taking cues from the bizarro-pop school of Nilsson and Warren Zevon. That it was written in the wake of Trump’s election is its least interesting quality; what is more amusing is Temple’s percussive use of breath, nimble guitar work, and cartoonish summoning of swamp monsters. It’s a prime example of Temple’s range as Art Feynman: a catchy, compact track that’s as fun and approachable as it is musically dexterous.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Art Feynman - Half Price at 3​:​30 Music Album Reviews Art Feynman - Half Price at 3​:​30 Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Rating: 5

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