Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: Tame Impala's Lonerism is psychedelic bliss

This review was first published on Oct. 16, 2013

It is easy to compare Tame Impala, which bloomed in 2010 from the roots of classic rock and psychedelic bliss in Perth, Australia, to albums from the 1960s and 1970s, but this comparison doesn't do Tame Impala justice. They aren't just reviving the psychedelia from this era, they are evolving it further and breathing new refreshing life into the classics, creating polished melodies with seemingly infinite layers of cosmic paradise.

I listen to new music all the time and usually it requires a couple run-throughs to really grab my attention. As I was doing some APUSH questions I decided to give Lonerism a try while I worked. I pressed play and completely froze.

The rhythms and the introductions of layers upon layers of electronic sound effects, bass lines and drum beats mystified my senses and literally, no exaggeration, left me wide-eyed with my hands clutching my head as if to keep it from floating away with the music. My emotional state was declining as each song ended and melted into the next.

Be Above It kicked it off with Kevin Parker eerily murmuring "Gotta be above it" which eventually merged in as the rhythm track behind the trembling guitar and ever-changing bass line. The trend to allure and entertain the ears with effortlessly sewn together instrumentals and haunting vocals continues throughout with breathtaking precision and fluidity.

Mind Mischief teeters toward the classic rock side of the 1960s and shows the meshing of classic guitar and echo-y underwater modern sound engineering genius of Parker, who recorded this and Tame Impala's first album, Innerspeaker, single-handedly.

Parker has the gift of writing melodies that are instantly ingrained in your head, then linger. His lyrics have grown in emotional value greatly since Innerspeaker, elusive but easily understood. Parker's vocals, dare I say, remind me of John Lennon, or at least an Australian modern day John Lennon.

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards is the song that demands a sing along, heck even the PS 22 Chorus has already covered it. This song is an easy listen, especially if you're delving into Tame Impala's mystical mind for the first time. Tame Impala is setting the precedent for new psychedelic rock and electronic music by creating new ways to bring back the best of the past and building upon it. Listening to Lonerism makes you feel small but in a magical way, like you're a bystander for the big bang.

HANNAH ELLIOTT, Robinson High

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