Tame Impala: Lonerism [Album Review]

Tame Impala
Modular Recordings [2012]


Fire Note Says: Like a black hole this album sucks you in and then proceeds to explode like a super nova!

Album Review: If Tame Impala’s first album Innerspeaker [2010] is their Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band then Lonerism has to be their Dark Side of the Moon. Think of a Jackson Pollock painting, and now think of something like that being made in the isolation of space. This album presents an epic canvas as the music floats out in a dream like zero-g crashing, splashing, and drenching the ears with a psychedelic, ambient, space swirl that emanates through every tone and vocal. It also helps and only adds to the grandeur that producer Dave Friedmann worked on the album. Famous for his work with Black Moth Super Rainbow, MGMT, and The Flaming Lips it really helps to convey the epic space vibe that can be herd on albums like The Soft Bulletin [1999] and At War With The Mystics [2006].

The album rolls out the gate with “Be Above It”, a drum driven powerhouse with a whispering “gotta be above it” backing track. Guitars and keys blossom and it’s the placement of these that’s enough to give the listener goose bumps, it’s a great taste of what’s to come and shows that Tame Impala is playing for keeps. Second track “Endors Toi” feels like a crashing wave of wah and synth that carries hazy vocals, the song even finds time to include a fuzzy guitar stomp that lets the song hover out into the vastness. Third track, and personal favorite “Apocalypse Dreams” takes the record in a jaunty, dream pop direction that really pays off. The track expands and blooms forth as if it’s growing out of your speakers, it’s an effect that the whole record has. A lot of it sounds like there is a distance to the whole recording process which is a great effect that I feel adds a lot to the idea of Lonerism. Seventh track, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” has the feel like the listener is about to hear some heavy beats dropped only to be greeted with a sunny disposition and a heavenly chorus. Ninth and most straight forward track on the album “Elephant” comes marching out to a bluesy chug that gives off the imagery as if the elephant’s trunk is swaying back and forth keeping time on this one. Closing track “Sun’s Coming Up” sounds as if it could be John Lennon reprising his role in Sergeant Pepper’s closing track “A Day In the Life”. Psychedelic ambience takes the listener out and releases them from the trance this album induced.

Tame Impala’s Lonerism, is a fantastic view on how music should be made, nothing here feels out of place, no note over played, no trick over tried. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up, give it the time it deserves and listen to it as a whole. This is one album that we haven’t seen the last of.

Key Tracks: “Apocalypse Dreams”, “Mind Mischief”, “Sun’s Coming Up”

Artists With Similar Fire: Dungen / The Soundtrack Of Our Lives / Pond

Tame Impala Website
Tame Impala Facebook
Modular Recordings

-Reviewed by Christopher Tahy

Christopher Tahy
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