Tame Impala – Lonerism

When John Lennon and his band mates made their first experiences with LSD, The Beatles embarked on a psychedelic journey yielding innumerable beautiful pieces of art, that were more than mere songs. Also they were more than mere repetitive, dopey fuzz-orgies for the sake of showing the newly won freedom of the mind or to match the term “psychedelic”. Over the years, a number of bands have attempted to combine both, druggy escapism and catchy songwriting, without much success. Starting with Beatles contemporaries and ending ultimately with the new album of Tame Impala, an Australian Psychedelic-Rock/Pop band. “Lonerism” is basically one long acid trip set to music. Or at least that is what it’s supposed to be.
Imagine a Beatles song like ‘Tomorrow never knows’ or ‘Golden Slumbers’ (minus the great sense for melodies and hooks) stretching on for a whole album, without being loosened up by lighter, sing-along Songs. It would work as a decent Psychedelic-Rock record without the Beatles context, especially for a young, contemporary band, for it sounds very authentically 60iesish. Bands like Nektar, Iron Butterfly or Yes managed dopey trips without interruptions for way longer than Tame Impala do, but unfortunately singer Kevin Parker sounds exactly like a Lennon/McCartney mix which makes it impossible not to compare the young Australians to the British legend. This comparison makes it very difficult for me to judge the album, which in itself is actually quite enjoyable to listen to. Non-puristic Beatles fans and psychedelic fans in general should definitely give it a go!

[Ansgar Hastenpflug]

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