TAME IMPALA //

LONERISM (Modular Recordings)

18/20

There’s a reason why Tame Impala’s 2010 debut album InnerSpeaker got such thorough recognition among a glut of unimaginatively retro Aussie upstarts; it’s because it really was that much better than what all those other wallies had to say for themselves. This follow-up is that much better again. Almost two minutes into opener Be Above It, it happens. The first vast swathe of billowing sound engulfs your head, and you’re in. From that minute forth it’s deluge after deluge of heady, undulating melody and rolling, hypnotic grooves. There’s no reinvention present, nor is it needed. If anything, Lonerism feels like a precious collection of uncovered relics. The project’s leader Kevin Parker has created an approach so entirely, almost overtly embracing of psychedelic traits that you can even listen to it alongside the trippy visuals function on your iTunes without feeling guilty. But still, thanks to an uncanny ear for a hook, it feels satisfyingly contemporary. In amongst a collection that works best in its entirety, there are undeniable highlights. Mind Mischief’s guitar hook is literally impossible to forget, it roots itself in your consciousness before mesmeric waves of sonorous melody block the exits. Elephants’ fantastic stomp is the most immediate moment on offer, and an instant classic. And the six minutes of divine, cyclical reverie Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control could go on ten times as long and we still wouldn’t want it to end. If only Tame Impala had been kind enough to release this album two months ago, this summer could have been a far sweeter place.

 

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Words: Geraint Davies

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