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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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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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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on 8 October 2012
As far as debut albums go, they don't tend to come much stronger than Tame Impala's "Innerspeaker". That LP's hypnotic grooves and translucent melodies were as addictive to listen to as the drugs that probably inspired there creation and frontman/creative hub Kevin Parker channelled the ghost of John Lennon on their first full length better than anybody since ... I dunno Liam Gallagher on Definitely Maybe? Anyway, two years on from the remarkably psychedelic "Innerspeaker" and we have their eagerly awaited follow up "Lonerism" to feast over. The differences between "Lonerism" and "Innerspeaker" aren't as numerous as their similarities, the fat snare pulses, fuzzy lo-fi guitar, smooth bass and dreamy vocals that were the predominant components of their first album, are featured heavily on this one and the style they sport here is still very reminscent of late 60's psych rock. However; the extra reliance on synthesizsers, increased studio experimentation and the handful of songs on "Lonerism" with a nonlinear song structure, certainly distinguish this album from it's predecessor and come to think of it, pretty much anything else thats being made right now under the rock idiom.

Opener "Be above it" brings a whole new meaning to the word space rock, with its alien overdubs and stomping drums sounding like the bands namesake marching through the expanses of mars, whilst blowing a flurry of liquid bubbles. Introductions to what's essentially a pop record, are rarely this audacious and it's this mixture of experimentation and joyful meldiousness that come to define the whole album. "Endors Toi" takes inspiration from the weightlessness of Boards of Canada's "dayvan cowboy". It's glistening keyboards, instrumental interplay, and washes of electronica all sublimely coalesce here, before a raucous guitar riff ratchets up the intensity. Aptly tiitled "Apocolypse Dreams" features scintillatingly sustained piano and some ominous Pink Floyd-y breakdrowns all coated in a mass of phil spector-esque reverbarations. The euphoria driven stoner rock of "Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control" feels like an utterly transformative, truly out of this world experience. with Avalanches style conversations, ecstatic drumming, bright synths and Kevin Parkers echoed vocals all coming together to create a blissful wall of effervescent sound.

Kevin Parkers theme of loneliness (hence the title) doesn't really come accross in any overt way on this album, except maybe in some of the song titles and the lyrics which the latter are difficult to decipher with the ever present maelstrom of sound seemingly drowning them out. However the elegiac closer "Suns Coming Up" shines a momentary spotlight on Parker's feelings of isolation and despondacy, with lyrics alluding to a failed relationship and a terminally ill father. I'm sure you've heard more than a handful of people claiming "Lonerism" as the de facto rock album of 2012 and in truth i'm edging closer to such an endorsement with every listen. Suffice to say Tame Impala have definitely produced something special here, by magically ressurecting the ecstasy of 60's psychedelia and infusing it with panaromic digital effects that add to it's appeal instead of detracting from it. Fans of Caribou, Of Montreal and Django Django should find listening to this something a kin to entering into a state of nirvana, everybodyelse should also have a pretty amazing time too;)
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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 2 April 2016
I first heard Tame Impala in mid 2010 when I downloaded InnerSpeaker based on an iTunes random recommendation. I'm so glad I did, and when Lonerism was released two years later - I was immediately ready to download again. This album is an absolute masterpiece, and almost four years later I feel that I'm finally able to absorb its absolute brilliance. I can now see that it's rhythm is in line with Dark Side of the Moon - which until very recently hadn't occurred to me - even though the psychedelic references to Pink Floyd were clear. However - I don't believe Tame Impala are remotely derivative - they just belong to the same species. There aren't any copies in their work. To fully appreciate Lonerism, you have to experience the live performances - particularly of Be Above it, Nothing that has happened so far has been anything that we could control (Eclipse). Elodie? Melody Prochet.....Set the controls for the heart of the sun. Suns coming Up? Fearless (Meddle). Keep on Lying (St Tropez). Be Above It I originally liked the least - having heard it live - is one of my all time favourites. It has the same underlying pulse as Breathe / Home (DSOTM). Music to walk home by (Time). Elephant almost has the same pattern as Money (DSOTM). But - is isn't DSOTM, it's way more than that. Lonerism is real. It's also musical genius. Endors Toi is without equal (hear it live!) It's taken me years to fully realise it - but is absolutely incredible. Keep on Lying is sublime - echoes of Cirrus Minor - but again, not Cirrus Minor, or any of Relics or Zabriskie Point. If you can get the version with the 7" single of Led Zeppelin / Beverly Laurel - you can see the ideas that developed into Currents. Beverly Laurel sounds like a missing track from A Clockwork Orange
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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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on 2 July 2016
Mid 60s psychadelia music re-introduced a few years ago By Tame Impala, with a nod to groups like Chocolate Watch Band, Shadows Of The Knight, and Electric Banana (aka Pretty Things), Tame Impala (The Impalas were also from the 60s) were a breath of fresh air to Glastonbury this year, which is more than I can say about most of the other dismal offerings. Although Tame Impala certainly stood out for all the right reasons at Glastonbury, the album tends to feel a little blurred overall, but the tracks that stand out strangely enough, are the ones that were played there. However, each song can be appreciated in it's own right, so it doesn't detract from the fact that there is a lot of musical content in this well structured album, but as with Pink Floyd, it might take some to realise it's complexity.
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on 19 October 2012
I really wanted to like this. And although the sleeve is great, everything else is not so good. Despite what I've read, and what the title might suggest, this album doesn't evoke feelings of loneliness. Indeed, it has no emotional depth whatsoever.

Which would be fine if it had memorable hooks and songwriting, which it doesn't. Which would also be tolerable if the atmosphere and aesthetic was really amazing - which it isn't. The production sounds cheap and loud, the dynamics are nonexistent, the melodies predictable, the vocals unremarkable other than sounding like a Paul McCartney/John Lennon tribute act combined.

It doesn't work as a mood record, it doesn't work as a pop record, it doesn't even work as a trippy psychedelic record. I don't like this at all.

Cue the 'no' votes on the 'was this review helpful' button, because we all know fanboys can't tolerate a dissenting voice.
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on 10 November 2012
Tame Impala's Innerspeaker was a great discovery for me: a raw, energetic, thoroughly exciting sound. When I heard about Lonerism I eagerly pre-ordered it but it isn't in the same league as its predecessor. Most of the reviews I've read dismiss Innerspeaker as 'just another rock record' but rave about Lonerism as being real music. Only the very occasional lone voice complains that it meanders self-indulgently, and that's certainly the way I see it, too. OK, it's not rubbish - it has its moments - and I can't grumble about musicians experimenting and developing, but this doesn't feel like the right direction; too much has been left behind. There's almost nothing here with the delicious power of, say, Alter Ego on Innerspeaker. Maybe I was hoping for too much, but this was a disappointment.
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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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