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Owen Temple

Right Here and Now – 2002 (El Paisano)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Owen Temple

Owen Temple graduated college in 2000 and took a job as a financial analyst. But 14 months later, Temple quit. The pull of music was stronger than the security of a cushy desk job. Now Temple has released his third country album, and it's a great one. While other Texas artists write great party songs, Temple is more a scholarly poet.

Take, for instance, this couplet from "Move Around Money," Temple's scathing disparagement of corporate America: "I know they care how I feel at my company/'Cause getting sad's bad for productivity." Temple's greatest strength is in capturing the essence of human emotion in a three-minute song. "Little Sweet Loss" is about the random people we meet every day and the longing we feel to bridge the "time and space between" us and understand what they're going through. Phil Madeira's production ranges from hard-driving electric country on "Burning Too Hot to Last" to dobro-laden bluegrass on "Faith Without Works" and supports the lyrics without getting in the way.

Temple is a good singer, and he's fast becoming a great songwriter. Corporate America's loss was Texas music's gain. (Box 192748, Dallas, TX 75219)