Going beyond mere aesthetics, Tame Impala's latest offering covers a range of emotions.
Tame Impala's Lonerism
There was a time when the rock band Muse could scarcely be mentioned without the Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s name being uttered in the same breath.
But just as Muse’s eccentric flair soon rendered the comparison obsolete, Australia’s Tame Impala may have finally reached the point at which its sole music maker, Kevin Parker, will be able to shake off associations with John Lennon.
It’s not that he sounds any less like Liverpool’s favourite son on Lonerism than he did on his 2010 debut, but because the record shows such exuberance and individuality, it’s almost ridiculous to suggest Parker would choose to ape any other artist.
The hypnotic opener Be Above It shows what Tame Impala does best: stripping late 1960s psychedelia of the era’s clichés with the help of up-to-date electronics. But Parker’s skills go way beyond mere aesthetics, as the beautifully melodic Why Won’t They Talk demonstrates.
What’s most striking is that this is an album with a range of emotions, veering from the paranoia of Apocalypse Dreams to the unabashed joy of the fuzzed-out rocker Elephant.