Review Summary: Temporary Hero was able to make an intelligent, well-crafted pop record.
Getting true recognition doing pure pop music is hard to achieve. Thousands or even millions love you while they don’t get tired of that hit of yours, and then forget you. Until the next hit, or you remain in the shadows for an eternity. One thing that people always forget is that making a perfect pop song(s) is probably one of the hardest things in modern music. You have a designated set of limitations you have to work with, from the length of the song to the currently popular elements you should include or pay attention to. Simply, it is so easy to flop and so hard to come up with something that is more long-standing within such limits.
I have no idea whether Temporary Hero had that in mind when he took such an artists’ name. Maybe he just wants to be known as such. It is almost impossible to find what is the name that his parents gave him at birth, or what he really looks like. Look at the covers of some of the albums he has done - both Closure and Chet (his tribute to Chet Baker) album covers behold black and white photos of the artist - taken from behind. On his reimagining of the Fleetwood Mac album Tusk, you get a picture of a somewhat sad pit bull terrier.
For his latest release, Indigo, that is exactly what you get - a shade of the color blue and the letters designating the title. And as far as the music goes, even before you hear a single note, by taking into consideration all the things he has done, like the Chet Baker and Fleetwood Mac tributes and covers, you know in which direction Temporary Hero is going. Intelligent pop. Oh, if you’ve needed any pre-proof of that, there’s a cover of Blondie’s “The Tide Is High”. Ok, so it is all clear that Temporary Hero is an intelligent and musically informed guy, but how does that transform to his music?
On the evidence of this album, quite well. The guy obviously a deft pop touch (he did have a top 20 hit with “Wildjoy”, after all) which is evident throughout Indigo with all the elements that characterize a truly modern Spotify pop playlist. The tone is a bit subdued and melancholic, as the songs seem to be inspired by some tragic event in his life (again, Temporary Hero, doesn’t go into any details), that made him write and record the album in US Virgin Islands. The tropical rhythms do permeate most of the songs like “Something More Than Paradise” but it is the straight ahead ballads like “Appreciate Me” and “Strip Me” that shine here. They are probably the one he truly felt while recording them. He does incorporate all his inspirations here - like the Chet Baker-like ending to “Something More Than Paradise”, but without being too overt to obscure the idea he had behind this album.
If pop is not your thing, you probably are already reading something else, but this is good pop and deserves everybody’s ear, at least temporary.