Author : Paul LaScolea
There is a moment on Tame Impala’s sophomore album, Lonerism, when I realized that I was listening to one of the best psychedelic rock albums of the year. When the fourth track, “Mind Mischief”, transitions from a catchy guitar groove to full-on harmonic bliss at the two-minute mark, I also realized that this one of 2012’s best albums of any genre. Lonerism is stuffed to the brim with transcendent moments such as this; crammed with imaginative details exploding off of warmly fuzzed-out guitars, bouncing bass lines, and heavily reverberating vocals. An important difference between this effort and Tame Impala’s debut, Innerspeaker, is the dominance of synthesizer and keyboards throughout. While Innerspeaker used keyboards to accent and surround many of the songs in a haze, Lonerism is happy to utilize them side by side with the guitars, in many cases completely taking the lead as the driving force.
It’s easy to peg a band many classify as “psychedelic rock” as entrenched in the past. This is simply not the case with Tame Impala. The songs here are based off of elements I could identify as “psych” or “prog”, but at no point could I picture this music coming from decades prior. Something about this band is completely modern and fresh sounding. Much could be said about this album’s lyrical content being laser-focused on themes of loneliness, isolation, and general outsider tendencies. The vocals, while quite catchy, also seem to have a lazily bittersweet current coursing through them. However, the music is so inviting and huge that it is nearly impossible to come away without a smile after finishing the record’s 52 minutes. Lonerism is one of the year’s most essential pop albums, and one that sounds destined for classic status.
Listen to stand out tracks “Apocalypse Dreams” and “Elephant” below.
Watch this amazing cover of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” by the PS22 Chorus from NYC. This displays the pop brilliance of these songs.