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4.5 stars... one of the year's best albums
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!