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4.2 out of 5 stars
Lonerism
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2012
Kevin Parker is the main brain behind Australia's Tame Impala, and the band's debut album, 2010's "Innerspeaker", was quite the intruiging debut album. Now comes the second album.

"Lonerism" (12 tracks; 52 min.) starts off with a nerversly drum-driven, high-energy "Be Above It", a fantastic track. It is followed by "Endors Toi", another all-out energy track. It isn't until track 3 "Apocalypse Dreams" that we start to get a real sense of where this album is going, less guitar-oriented than "Innerspeaker", even if the next track "Mind Mischief" actually finds guitars and drums very upfront. The album truly takes off with the next track "Music to Walk Home By", with synthesizers all over, a theme that would continue for most of the album. "Why Won't They Talk To Me" is in the same vein, and at this point I'm thinking that Tame Impala has become the (beautiful) bastard child of Film School-meets-The Secret Machines. Now we are into the heart of the album, with an outstanding lazy-feeling "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards", followed by an even greater "Keep on Lying", with a delicious 4 min. instrumental outro (with lots of sound-trickery overdubbed, and I mean that in the best of ways). It is one of my favorite tracks on here. It is followed by a guitar-heavy (and hard rock sounding) "Elephant", which is out of place with the rest of the album, yet somehow it works great. After that the album starts to falter a bit, we've had the best moments by then. The album should've closed with "Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control" but instead is followed by an unnessecary piano-based "Sun's Coming Up".

In all, this album is one of the biggest (pleasant) surprises for me this year, and clearly one of the year's very best albums, period. Sure to make my "best of 2012" albums list, and very high at that. I can't wait to see this band in concert! "Lonerism" is HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

*UPDATE* (March, 2013) I saw Tame Impala in concert for the first time just recently here in Ohio, and they simply blew me away. Outstanding set from start to finish. If you have a chance to see them live, do not miss them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
On their second album the Australian psychedelic rock revivalists Tame Impala hit the bullseye yet again. Their last album "Innerspeaker" purloined the heart of many discerning rock fans not least with its trippy songs of loneliness which often recalled late period Beatles and was delightfully produced by The Flaming Lips soundboard guru Dave Fridmann. On this new album "Lonerism" a sense of isolation is once again the overriding theme but it is masked by the sheer variety of shade, colour and verve contained in these twelve songs. The bands unique leader Kevin Parker seeks his inspiration from polar opposite ends of the musical spectrum namely Britney Spears' `plastic pop' and predominantly from the well head of that "Wizard and true star" the gargantuanly talented but often sadly overlooked Todd Rundgren. It is difficult to know quite where to commence here since you sense that those who were smitten with the blissful "Innerspeaker" may find the sheer levels of experimentation here somewhat grating and overbearing. Alternatively if you give it sufficient time you will detect a wayward relative, an enfant terrible who clearly is part of the same close knit family but growing up at an astounding rate.

Just listen to the first three songs and wonder about the fact that many of the the newer bands who have released albums in 2012 struggle to capture this level of creativity and innovation on an extended canvass of 45 minutes plus. Opener "Be above it" is all vocal loops and probably the most insistant drumming since Underworld's anthem "Born Slippy". Next in line "Endor Toi" achieves what Yeasayer have miserably failed to do on their new album by creating huge whirlwinds of pop psychedelica within the framework of a beautiful melodies, whilst "Apocalypse Dreams" is as a funky as anything on Lewis Taylor's "Lost Album" and as equally brilliant. Timing is everything and on the same day that ELO issue a new greatest hits "Why won't they talk me " echoes Jeff Lynne while "Feel like we are going backwards" is pure summer of love and blissed out vibes. Mention in dispatches should go to the wonderful pop of the single "Elephant" a sprawlingly ambitious song which throws in the kitchen sink, the the gas cooker and the microwave. It is far the most rocking track on the album but pumps along with enough distractions to grab your attention with a vice like grip. God knows what is going on all together in the six minute plus "Nothing that has happened so far has been anything we could control" punctuated by whirring Parker vocals, spoken dialogue and almost a Syd Barrett like pop longing which makes it such a unmitigated treat. In this sense the last song "Sun's Coming Up" might be the least favourite track on here starting with a gentle piano coda and ending with synthesiser waves crashing on the beach it might just be a bit to clever for its own good but more listens are required. In any case you can counter it with one of the bubbling highlights of the album the echo laden and spacey "Music to walk home by" a song to wear your needle thin.

Tame Impala and their burgeoning levels of "Mind Mischief" are turning this band into real contenders with their massive pop sensibilities combined with an eye for startling retro, so old its new. This is an album realised well in time for the forthcoming brightness of the Australian summer and no doubt will soundtrack the rising heat in those latitudes as the a hot sun slowly drifts down the line of beach. In the grey autumn of a dull October how we must envy our "Antipodean" cousins for their fair climate and for having one of the best new bands on any continent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 October 2012
Tame Impala have a real hard job on their hand following up the excellent Innerspeaker. That was a blissful album of 70's influence psychedelia. This effort doesn't deviate too much from that. What is new is the feeling of melancholy some tracks leave. Don't get me wrong this is no downbeat effort. It does have moments of absolute joy - Apocalypse Dreams is a great example of that with a driving drum beat, fuzzy vocals and blissed out breakdowns and guitar solo's. However, some tracks like Keep On Lying just have that bliss feel but also the bitter-sweet feeling as well.

If you are looking for influences then 70's bands are the obvious ones. Cream or similar are often mentioned but if you listen to the rather excellent Elephant you hear glam rock at the start and then it breaks down into an almost White Stripes feel. Guitars and fuzzy vocals are the order of the day again - although some tracks include almost harpsichord sounds amongst others. Some tracks last a long time and include more experimental moments - Sun's Coming Up is an example as a closing track it feels like a slight low note to finish on. She Just Won't Believe Me clocks in at less than a minute though and is very reminiscent of Apples In Stereo on New Magnetic Wonder.

Overall this is a great album and I have been playing it constantly since release. It certainly is a throwback to the 70's. However, it doesn't quite reach the heights of the début album. Its still highly recommended though.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
This is the first time I've been compelled to write a review on Amazon, because it has been such a long time since an album has got under my skin the way that "Lonerism" has.

My introduction to Tame Impala came from hearing "Elephant" on 6 Music this summer and being pulled in by the section just after the whispered "here it comes". The song is a beast of a tune - stomping glam rock followed by freak out psychedelia. So when you start playing "Lonerism" I can see why people might be disappointed if they are expecting 11 other "Elephant" type tunes - that isn't what you get here.

The album has got some beautifully written songs with Apocalypse Dreams my personal highlight. Other tracks such as Keep on Lying and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards have a wonderfully evocative mood - no doubt helped by some pretty intense production. It feels like one of those records that is most rewarding when listened to from start to finish in one setting if you have the time.

The album is very heavily layered - but this made me want to put it onto repeat listen for a couple of weeks rather than give up on it. Yes, it seems as if the Producer has been on over-time on many songs, but i've recently felt compelled to give it yet another listen over and over again - and more so than any other album in years - so they must have been doing something right.

After reading other reviews on here, I can only conclude that one man's meat is another man's poison...and "Lonerism" is a meaty feast for me (apologies to all vegetarians...)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2015
Do your self a favour, by it on CD, the vinyl mix is atrocious. I paid full price in a shop and regretted it after the first side… I can't believe they pressed it to be honest, I'm a sound engineer and long time record collector (The highs are shrill, the synths have lost all there punch and in places everything just turns into a muddy mess) Its a real shame because this music can/could sound so good on wax. As an album its dose not stand up to the first. I really don't wanna bad mouth Kevin Parker as his injection of fuzzy psychedelia into the mainstream was a breath of fresh air. If you like Tame Impala and want to complete your collection, buy Lonerism on CD, but for the love of your ear drums, don't buy it on vinyl.
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on 9 February 2013
I do believe this album is pure quality, it sinks it's teeth into the intelligent and leaves no gaps for anyone to really fault. The instrumentals are perfectly toned, the album consists greatly among it's song placement, it has a decent introduction and speaks to all.

Analyzing it, the title name and front cover is a little give away to what really this album is about. I enjoy albums that speak about people, creativity and opens my imagination, I'm afraid this album did not do that for me. The front cover is bliss, and clearly embarks on a selfish perspective on the world that someone wants to relieve, it shows what some songs are written about too; the purity of happiness with family, friends and enjoying the pop-sun. It shows one mans imagination of feeling like he's trapped and still desperate.

The biggest thing that this album represents is the annoying re-lapse is the impressionist who is simply trying to be his idol in John Lennon. John Lennon was in my opinion one of the greatest, most unique sounding voices of all time, but twice? I wouldn't buy an album to listen to someone try and be Elvis, I could go to my local bar and see someone try and do that. The whole purpose I bought this album was from reading NME, and seeing how it hyped up all the re-birth, but it's not a good thing.

A brilliant album and voice, but it's been done before. If someone dis-agrees with my opinion on this, that's fine, but think of all the pop-rock sensation, I like some and that's the first I ever listened to, and everyone on Scuzz now impersonates it with silly Delonge accents and it sucks. That's my view on this.

For the actual album and music itself, easy 4 stars. If it were the original, this would be the new thing.
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on 11 May 2015
I'm a big fan of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes stuff like that, but when this came along and I was discovering myself, it's psychedelic lyrics mirrored the emotions I was going through. When I first heard it I thought it was like Metronomy and Arctic Monkeys had a drug addicted baby, and I wasn't even intoxicated at the time. While clearly having some incredible tracks like Mind Mischief and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, the record as a whole manages to retain a certain level of lyrical integrity providing not just a great experience with great songs, but a thought provoking one too. It's often relatable and when's it's not, it's a level of quality rarely seen in music nowadays.

I can't recommend Lonerism enough, it's truly the best album I've ever heard and is something I've had on repeat since it's release.
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I am an unwitting fan of psychedelica, digging the likes of MGMT and the such and Tame Impala was my first stab at a proper psychedelica record.

It has been a real pleasure listening to this, the modulated guitars sound lush without too much cosmic noodling, the Impala seem to have their feet firmly fixed to planet earth and haven't set their controls for the heart of the sun.

There are flavours of glam and prog in their too and (dare I say it) Head era Monkees.

Vocals are drawled and laid back without being muddy and indecipherable. Also, the hooks are literally that, hooks. The tunes stay with you, a sure sign that the fuzziness is not too present.

A cracking LP.
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I am sure I am not alone in being fed up with the same kind of music that keeps on being churned off the production line. This band came to my attention because of the song, Elephant, which is used on a television advert. Unhelpfully, I cannot recall the commercial now. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, the production has a 1970s feel to it, a lot of fuzz guitar and distinctly modern rhythms. I suggest popping Elephant into YouTube first – you’ll know the tune, trust me.
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on 25 April 2013
I bought this album on the strength of the Blackberry advert that used the track Elephant as backing music. I found the album really good in parts but it left me feeling it could have been better. I think it would benefited from better production values. It is still a good buy though because there is definitely talent here.
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