It’s difficult to imagine what John Lennon would say..
It’s not every day that you come across a band so involved in modern sound and contemporary style who also has an unhealthy obsession with the ways of yesteryear. But that’s Tame Impala for you. And, no— they’re not related to anything in the rap department.
Hypothetically speaking; if the Beatles, MGMT, Mew, and perhaps some other obscure new wave/psychedelic rock group formed a collaborative “child” album, Tame Impala’s InnerSpeaker would likely be kin to the result.
And so, away we go.
As if anything even remotely agreeable in our everyday lives begins with abrupt and irritable static, InnerSpeaker’s initial piece “It is Not Meant to Be” barges in on all concentration and expectation in order to establish the unearthly psychedelic tone of this bizarre record.
Next up is “Desire Be Desire Go.” The tune is, start-to-finish, a completely unmissable Beatles.. umm.. “tribute.” Though the crunchy, metallic guitar tones are vastly independent from any sort of sound that George Harrison would/could have constructed, the melody and its lyrical counterpart are borrowed directly from any given Revolver track. The track’s successor, “Alter Ego,” additionally harkens back to the trippier days of the Fab Four; almost as if sung by the late, great Lennon himself.
Usually, this blatant misuse of 60’s reminiscence would either anger or bore a modest Beatles fan, such as myself. Yet, due to some unexplainable sonic phenomenon, Tame Impala is able to both acknowledge their obvious homage and present a respectably original and pleasurable aspect that is wholly their own.
Other InnerSpeaker successes include the wildly colourful and transmissible single “Solitude is Bliss,” the ferociously fuzzy and vaguely “Taxman”-esque “Lucidity,” and the stomping, spacey, seclusive “Jeremy’s Storm.”
To boot, there aren’t even really any grievously blemishing glitches in the overall scheme of the album. Every track is, at the very least, bearable and enjoyable on some level.
And so, unlike the majority of overly-hyped-musical-disappointments-waiting-to-happen, Tame Impala is a beacon of possibility and integration, fluently fusing musical portions across decades of classic psych-rock personality and progression.
83% / B- ☆