19 Sep 2012

Tame Impala - Lonerism Review


Modular CD / Vinyl / Digital

"Lonerism" is one of the most anticipated albums of the year for me for sure. I had a major love affair with "Innerspeaker" that bordered on the obsessive.
We've all heard first single "Elephant" by now - a fun slice of fuzzy Marc Bolan style glam rock that sounds like the sort of thing we all hoped for from the follow up to Pop Levi's "Return to Form Black Magick Party" and didn't get, but how does the rest of the album measure up?
As it happens, very well. First things first though - this isn't a surprising album. There's no radical departure from what made "Innerspeaker" such a success - this is essentially more of the same, but when the same is immaculately constructed psych pop with inventive arrangements that's no bad thing.
It does however feel like Kevin Parker has honed his songwriting skills a little in the last few years. A number of these tracks noticeably "Sun's Coming Up", the first half of which is basically just piano and vocal, sound like they'd still function perfectly well if stripped of the wall of sound production and left to function on their own devices.
This track in particular sounds like a less syrupy version of the sorts of piano and vocal demos that John Lennon was laying down just before his death, and if anything "Lonerism" shows an even more pronounced influence than was apparent on "Innerspeaker".
This more mature approach to songwriting results in songs that are deceptively simple and melodic and generally a little less hooky, but after a few listens they really sink their teeth in and reveal some absolutely gorgeous melodies that'll stay with you forever.
Couple this with the massive production sound of "Innerspeaker" and for this listener at least, "Lonerism" ends up doing exactly what I hoped it would.
One to put on the shopping list.

Pre-order "Lonerism" on CD here ( U.K ) or here (U.S).
Pre-order "Lonerism" on Vinyl here (U.K ) or here (U.S).

 

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