Many have not heard of new age, psychedelic rock group Tame Impala before. Their unusual, unique, and stylish sound has received little recognition. But their excellent 2010 debut Innerspeakerreceived acclaim and number 4 on the Australian music charts, as they originate from Australia. And so far, their career is off to a great start. Now, with the release of their brand new album Lonerism, Tame Impala has received some recognition, as it has been #34 on the US music charts. Lonerism beautifully expresses the topics of loneliness (referring to the album’s title), detachment, and self-angst, with a perfect use of banging drums, piano harmonies, electronic rock, and dreamy vocals. The album begins with a whisper slowly getting louder, segueing into the vibrant jam, “Be Above It.” Lead vocalist Kevin Parker uses his crooning falsetto voice to layout the second track “Endors Toi.” Next comes “Apocalypse Dreams,” a powerful, intriguing 6-minute track that separates internally into two parts – similar to Radiohead’s 1997 4-parter hit, “Paranoid Android” – and each part signifies the diverse culture of psychedelic rock as well as electronic groove: The first part is a fast-paced drum beat, with Parker’s echoing falsetto marking a high point in the album overall; the second part interludes to a slower paced guitar-filled jam. The next few songs echo and resemble many psychedelic bands, including the Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles: “Mind Mischief” is a light-hearted tune, filled with a beach-y vibe; another dreamy jingle, “Music to Walk Home By,” that is definitely a song to walk home by; an almost Paul McCartney-sounding jive, “Why Won’t They Talk to Me?”; and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” a wonderful song, reverberating escapism and daydreaming. The next track off Lonerismis one authentic outlier of Tame Impala’s psychedelic jams called “Keep On Lying,” which provides a heavy use of electronic keyboard, ambient voices, and a tiny usage of Parker’s voice, which is okay in this case. Transition to another great rock Tame Impala song that is by far my favorite off Lonerism: “Elephant,” which blends perfectly with both funky electronic beats and fantastic drum thumps. This probably will be one of Tame Impala’s most memorable tracks, if you listen to Lonerismas a whole. “She Just Won’t Believe Me” is a short but amazingly crazy interlude into another 6-minute track “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Can Control,” which echoes vocals and piano riffs similar to Paul Simon. The album closer, “Sun’s Coming Up,” is a positive outlier against all other tracks off of Tame Impala’s new record: it is a plain but eloquent piano ballad, both dramatic and groovy, contrasting Tame Impala’s softer side from its resonating noise, and a beautiful ending to Lonerism.
Although most of the music in Lonerism captivates a listener better than its lyrics, it still provides a thorough and striking outlook on our life-long downfalls and isolations. Even the album artwork describes “lonerism” itself, depicting a vintage image of the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France (can be seen at top of review). The image ties into the themes of isolation of Lonerism with a metal gate separating the viewer from the people in the Gardens. Tame Impala definitely has a lot to offer, considering that many people are unaware of their existence even, although they are recognizable to some. But even so, they provide an abundance of evocative music that should rank up to better recognition.
Suggested Tracks: “Apocalypse Dreams,” “Why Won’t They Talk to Me?” “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” “Elephant,” “Sun’s Coming Up”