Review: Tame Impala – Lonerism

Lonerism spits out colours andsounds and light like a electric kaleidoscope on a druggy beach holiday. The Instagram cover of the Tuileries suggests new-age fun with a vintage feel, but belies the intelligence of this record: it might sound like psych and stompand synth, but there’s an awful lot more going on beneath the fug of blue smoke.

Australian singer Keith Parker spent most of his excellent debut attributing failures in his life to too much time spent sitting around smoking weed. He’s kept the same stoner-chic vibe in the second album,with heavy shoegaze reverb and backing tracks of Animal Collective-esque laughter. This combines to be interesting, giddy and occasionally almost hysterical.

Looking for things it sounds a bit like is relatively straightforward,especially given the current vogue for psychadelic space pop: think M83’s most recent album, with plenty of late Beatles chromatics, recorded in apricot sunshine. Roll up, roll up, step right this way!

Lonerism sparkles and wheels and sometimes threatens to ejaculate in vivid shades of orange and gold. This might sound overstimulating or even un peu trop: though the pace is fast and the guitar parts numerous, the album somehow manages to glide rather than hurtle.This might be due to a somewhat homogenous sound, where it can be hard to differentiate between individual tracks, like refracted memoriesof a heavy night. Stand-outs are there, though, even if they require one to peer at the album for a little bit longer. If Lonerism is a musical Magical Eye picture, the tracks you’re looking for are first single ‘Elephant’, and charmingly paranoid ‘Why Won’t They Talk To Me’. All in all, an excellent follow-up to 2010’s Innerspeaker – entirely worth any Beatles fan’s time. At its best, totally intoxicating. 

FOUR STARS