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'Lonerism' goes beyond expectations

Album Review

By Andrew Huitt
On November 7, 2012

Tame Impala, following their amazing 2010 psych-rock release "Innerspeaker", have yet again exceeded expectations with their new LP, "Lonerism", released from Modular on October 5.

Kevin Parker has created a whole new breed of beast: A punchy, clear retro album that, with beautiful analog synths and righteous drum rolls, easily summons to mind beach scenes flashing across an 1966 RCA.

But Tame Impala is more than a tribute band viewing the prior generations through rose-colored glasses. "Lonerism" takes the idea of psychedelic music to heights unimagined even by Lucy and her diamonds.

Throughout the album, there is a synthesis of classic standbys with tasteful electronic aftertouch. On the very first track, Jay Watson's Mitch Mitchell-esque drum performance gets spun into an angry swirl not unlike a massive swarm of bees.

On "Why Won't They Talk To Me", electronic echoes and washes of reverb blend in with the organ to paint a backdrop for Parker's delay-drenched vocal delivery. Yet, this is too vibrant and organic to be an electronic album.

The defining master stroke of "Lonerism" is the intimacy of the production. The dynamics gives the feeling of standing in the sonic center of the venue watching Tame Impala play.


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