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Tame Impala - Lonerism Album Cover

Tame Impala - Lonerism

Reviewed by
8.0
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Record Label: Modular Recordings
Release Date: October 5, 2012
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Itís been just over two years since Perth, Australia's Tame Impala broke through to the musical consciousness with their critically acclaimed, generally lauded debut album, Innerspeaker. With their hazy 60s tinged psychedelia they made their way into many an end of year list and even a few award nominations. Now theyíre back with Lonerism, eleven tracks slightly out of this world, psychedelia which returns Tame Impala back to its rightful place as the crown oddballs of indie rock.

Lonerism is a bit mental. Well, a lot mental. Basically, Tame Impala are the definition of niche music. From the opening pulsing synthesizer to the closing half a second of voice, Lonerism is drenched in nostalgia, distorted beats, wah pedals and possibly, quite a bit of marijuana. The aforementioned opener "Be Above It" brings us straight into Kevin Parkerís extremely mellow world. Repetitive and featuring a somewhat groovy beat, it serves as the perfect introduction to what follows. "Enders Toi" is the ultimate summer haze track. Casual, soft vocals drone over distorted, surf-pop guitars, whilst bass, at all times, brings the groove. Who knows what on earth the lyrics are about, but their vagueness only adds to the chilled out vibe of the song. Being chilled out appears to be an aim of Tame Impala and when listening to Lonerism itís very easy to not think too hard about what youíre hearing because you might as well be relaxing on a beach in the late sixties, but aside from their summer inducing tendencies, Tame Impala are actually a technically excellent band.

Although they sound like they could be quite a loose band, their musicianship is quite precise. A listen to "Mind Mischief" shows this, each instrument entwines with each other, each noodly riff, each rumbling drum, and off course the trademark vocals sound like they were made to be together, and never once are they anything but on the spot. This is a big part of what makes Tame Impala a little irresistible; the combination of a laidback vibe and musical accuracy is so very rare and itís this reason that they are the best at what they do.

However, as easy as it is to like the album, at times it can turn into background music, due to a tendency to not veer away from a set formula. As strange as it seems to say about a band as off the wall as Tame Impala; the album stays within the constraints set out by their debut album. In a way, itís a bit like upon first hearing the album the listener will exclaim their surprise at this Beatles in a post Smiths world band, however by the last quarter of the album, you want them to be a bit different. Closer "Sunís Coming Up" provides this change with a piano led focus which breathes life into the end, but itís a little too late to claw back what could have been a fantastic album.

Overall, Tame Impala have created a steady sophomore album. Lonerism is perfect for a summerís day, but they need to take a step in a different direction, if they donít want to become known as a one trick horse. Album number three should be an interesting one, man.

Recommended If You LikeTOY; Deerhunter; The Beatles; summer, man


Additional InformationTrack Listing
1. Be Above It
2. Enders Toi
3. Apocalypse Dreams
4. Mind Mischief
5. Music To Walk Home By
6. Why Won't They Talk To Me?
7. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
8. Keep On Lying
9. Elephant
10. She Just Won't Believe Me
11. Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control
12. Sun's Coming Up

Band Members
Kevin Parker
Dominic Simper
Jay Watson
Nick Allbrook
Julien Barbagallo

8/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
02:53 PM on 10/22/12
#2
SmeezyBeezy
DahBuhDeezy
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Great great great great album.
03:28 PM on 10/22/12
#3
Steeeve Perry
Pushin' th' little daisies
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You review the best albums, I'm sorry we ever got off on the wrong foot! Great review, though I would make a couple of points.
1. Tame Impala is technically excellent, yes. But on record every single sound is made by one man, Kevin Parker. Given the complexity of every instrumental, he is an absolute maestro.
2. The album can drift into background music, but close listening is very rewarding, particularly on multiple spins. I know this can be a turn off for some, but by the 10th listen or so this record becomes really catchy.
3. I would also say this is quite different to Innerspeaker. Less catchy (at first, but overall too) and more psychadelic and impressive sounding. So full of texture. My gf for instance is a casual listener and thought the first album sounded like Kasabian (it did not, thank god) whereas she can't handle Lonerism's bursts of technicolor noise.
03:55 PM on 10/22/12
#4
Steve Alcala
"Counting Fish"
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You review the best albums, I'm sorry we ever got off on the wrong foot! Great review, though I would make a couple of points.
1. Tame Impala is technically excellent, yes. But on record every single sound is made by one man, Kevin Parker. Given the complexity of every instrumental, he is an absolute maestro.
2. The album can drift into background music, but close listening is very rewarding, particularly on multiple spins. I know this can be a turn off for some, but by the 10th listen or so this record becomes really catchy.
3. I would also say this is quite different to Innerspeaker. Less catchy (at first, but overall too) and more psychadelic and impressive sounding. So full of texture. My gf for instance is a casual listener and thought the first album sounded like Kasabian (it did not, thank god) whereas she can't handle Lonerism's bursts of technicolor noise.
I wanted to say ALL of this. But you took the words straight out of my mouth.

Enjoyed the review though, Kelly.
04:07 PM on 10/22/12
#5
Brissona
Dye the World
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This is my AOTY, a nice pair of headphones and this album together are like a finely aged red wine and a juicy steak.
05:39 PM on 10/22/12
#6
Steeeve Perry
Pushin' th' little daisies
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I wanted to say ALL of this. But you took the words straight out of my mouth.

Enjoyed the review though, Kelly.
ALL of it? Stay away from my girlfriend!
06:29 PM on 10/22/12
#7
bite2brkskn12
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love this album! Just bought tickets to see them in philly
06:37 PM on 10/22/12
#8
Steve Alcala
"Counting Fish"
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ALL of it? Stay away from my girlfriend!
ALL OF IT.
07:38 PM on 10/22/12
#9
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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This record is really hitting me in all the right places. I have endless praise for it. And I will back up your fanboys. You do review some truly awesome records. So glad we brought you into the fold.
06:40 AM on 10/23/12
Chris Collum
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Hey I don't know you but you've posted reviews for like four of my favorite records to come out this year recently, so that's cool.
12:31 PM on 11/02/12
Kelly Doherty
@_kellydoherty for the lolz
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Thanks very much guys!
10:56 PM on 11/24/12
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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one of the best records of 2012

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