Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tame Impala - Innerspeaker


I wanted to like it, really I did.  This was picked as an Album of the Year for Aussie Youth Radio network Triple J, and I like to think I've got a bit of an insight into what those young people are on about.  No, seriously.  Stop snickering, you.

But all I could think while listening to this was - Beatles Rubber Soul and Revolver,  but without the variety the Fab Four managed on those albums.  Amped up a bit with some beats here and there, but essentially a bit hippy-trippy.  Which is alright for a song or two, but a whole album?  Nice dinner-party music, but that's about it.



Yet more proof that there is something in those isolated waters of Western Australia that keeps producing some of the best music in Australia. 

Citing a laundry list of influences, including Beck, Kyuss, Massive Attack, RZA and The Beatles (boy, are they covering all bases or what), Tame Impala are anything but locked into a single style.  Yet the cohesiveness of Innerspeaker, their debut album, is surprisingly strong, thanks to the overall production aesthetic   While it is definitely psychedelic, it also reminds me of some of the shoegazer bands around the late 80s and early 90s.

Listening to Lucidity, for instance, took me back to house parties, where most of us were floating from a cocktail of various fixings.  And the music, like Innerspeaker is to a new generation, was not just background but an integral part of the journey.  Maybe the fact I'm relatively straight and sober these days dulled my appreciation slightly but not by much.

There are treats of sharp, effected pop gems like Solitude Is Bliss and I Don't Really Mind as well as surprises like the sludgy psych-rock of The Bold Arrow Of Time.  And while I think the band could have done better with a name, I expect it will be one I'll be hearing of for some time to come. 


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