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Album Review

In the tradition of country singer/songwriters such as Kevin Welch and Hal Ketchum, Owen Temple doesn't exactly fit the typical Stetson-wearing modern country artist, but isn't far from such a polished crossover sound. "Accidentally Break My Heart" exemplifies this trait, a typical three-minute country song suited for radio. But "Burning Too Hot to Last" has more of a rebellious, outlaw quality to it that wouldn't fit well along Music Row. Producer Phil Madeira is quite vital to the album. Using everything from accordions to pedal steel guitar, Madeira definitely creates a fuller sound for the listener. The songs, though, are only as strong as the lyrics, and fortunately Temple rarely errs. "Little Sweet Loss" has Temple at the forefront and on top of his game. But the blues rumble on "This Ain't Las Vegas" doesn't work at all. Resembling a track that Bonnie Raitt would leave on the cutting room floor, the song is a bit bland despite the change of style. "Move Around Money" is a similar idea, but works infinitely better with a relaxing backbeat in the shadows. Name-dropping various companies and products doesn't necessarily damage the tune, but it could be improved lyrically with some simple alterations. Temple proves he has a wealth of potential on the straightforward traditional honky tonk of "Before the Night Becomes the Dawn." Building slowly over its nearly five minutes, the harmonies, mandolin, and pedal steel guitar all share leading roles. However, there are a few songs that tend to overlap and almost duplicate each other, notably "Trouble With You" and "The Madder You Are (The Cuter You Get)." The gospel-tinged "Faith Without Works" is another sonic curve, but works well given its nature.


Born: 04 December 1976 in Kerrville, Texas

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

The Texas-based singer/songwriter Owen Temple immersed himself in his father's country music collection at a very young age, learning to sing by listening to records by Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Jr., and James McMurtry. After relocating to Austin to attend the University of Texas, Temple began writing songs, intensely focusing on the craft of those who came before him. His debut album, General Store, appeared in 1997; Passing Through followed two years later. However, college...
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Right Here and Now, Owen Temple
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