Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Album Review- Tame Impala -Lonerism

Tame Impala
**and 1/2 out of *****

Tame Impala are a group from Perth, Australia but truly the brain child of multi-insturmentalist Kevin Parker as he looks to create tripped out pop-rock soundscapes for the listener to get lost in.  Parker wrote and recorded much of Lonerism himself focusing on the topic of isolationism and loneliness, but that is secondary to the musical shapes he has produced which take center stage.

"Enders Toi" really puts Parkers Beatles (George Harrison in particular) tendencies smack dab in the center with it's great snare sound pushing the feedback/scratchy guitars which seem to stop and start without warning.  "Apocalypse Dream" contains engaging bass lines and synth waves.  It is pretty in its wandering, containing a wide open cosmic feel but becomes jarring with all the distinct changes and parts that don't fit together perfectly.  Tracks like "Keep On Lying" are in the same vein as if Parker is going with the kitchen sink approach, just trying everything in the span of 5+ minute tunes.

A better example of the smooth psych sound would be "Music To Walk Home By" which swirls and flows and even gets funky building to engaging climax before fading out. The album's first single "Elephant" is also focused with a dark vibe, that can simultaneously call to mind Blondie dance rock and Pink Floyd's sense of despair present in The Wall.       

Lyrics are secondary as are vocals in general mostly regulated to just being an extra sound to play with but the harmonies and textures they create get extra loving treatment on tracks like "Mind Mischief" and "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards".  With the title and track name's it is obvious what Parker is shooting for, but during the songs what he is singing about clearly takes a backseat to the nuanced production and music.   

There are a few electro-dance numbers that don't work as well ("Why Won't They Talk To Me") and odd misstep sketches ("She Just Won't Believe Me") but overall Lonerism is a dense, long listen that rewards with multiple spins as the sound continues to swirl as Parker tries to deal with his world in his way.     
Stumbled across Tame Impala a few weeks back and was intrigued with their stuff while digging their name.  I could say more but you could also just go and hear this whole album for yourself right ch'ere!  Thanks NPR!

Below are a few youtube clips, as always please support the artist and see them live when you can.  

"Apocalypse Dreams"

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