Thursday, December 13, 2012
22. Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)
Kevin Parker is a loner in more ways than one. Tame Impala's lyrics tend to discuss a challenge to overcome obstacles Parker's brought on himself (see former single "Solitude is Bliss"), while in the studio he creates every note of Tame Impala on his own: "just the sound of music in my head." And so the much talked about title of his second album, Lonerism, makes complete sense. Seeing as it's the only result that Google yields, it's also a definitive statement for an album that deserves such a thing. After wowing us in 2010 with the breakthrough Innerspeaker, Parker has eradicated the band's reputation as the best throwback psych rock act on the market to become one of the most innovative rock bands going. Admittedly influenced by Todd Rundgren's mind-expanding 1973 classic, A Wizard, A True Star, Parker expanded his horizon to the outer limits, opting for more synthesizers and less guitar to see what dimensions he could unlock through a much less structured, more organic process. Co-produced with Dave Fridmann, Lonerism can't shake Parker's affinity for '60s and '70s psychedelia – his music is naturally affected by it. "Elephant" (which Rundgren actually remixed) throbs in fuzz only to float off into the ether with waving, harmonious organ tangents, and "Music to Walk Home By" evolves like the Flaming Lips remixing J.D. Blackfoot's "Pink Sun." But this is definitely an album built through analogue synth exploration, and with help from keyboardist Jay Watson, they've made symphonies built to seduce the EQ of any hungry speaker system. "I gotta be above it now," Parker sings on the opening track, and though may not be talking about his inventiveness as a songwriter, producer and visionary, there are few out there above what he has achieved with Lonerism.