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Reviews

Tame Impala
Lonerism - MODULAR
FILTER Grade: 89%

By Loren Auda Poin on October 29, 2012

 

Tame Impala

Terms like “psychedelic” still hold water with Lonerism, Tame Impala’s latest opus, but it’s almost impossible to be fully aware of what you’re hearing at first, so surprising and overwhelming is the onslaught. The level of musical complexity and pure joy produced here approaches the output of bands like murky synthbrains Boards of Canada or Brazilian weirdoes Os Mutantes, though perhaps with more aching melody and syrupy, avian majesty. The album coruscates like a bizarre alien jewel, and even the likes of Beatles studio wizard Geoff Emerick might be caught drooling over producer Dave Fridmann’s soundscapes. Synthesizer use among modern rock bands is ubiquitous, but often they become little more than texture machines; not so on Lonerism. Like the songs themselves, they sputter and growl like living, snorting, salivating creatures, while supplying baroque flourishes and melting vocal harmonies, leaving us wondering where man and machine are separated. Lonerism is a dense slab, and much may resist exploration on the first 5, 10, or 20 listens, but the swaths that pass through even the most garbled neural net are nourishing enough to sustain a considerable journey. Buckle up, and give your boss notice—you may never come back from this trip.

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