“Innerspeaker” – Tame Impala (Joint Review)
I have quite literally been waiting for this album since the first time I put their debut EP into my cd player and let it rip. If you haven’t heard the cover of Blue Boy’s Remember Me or Half Full Glass of Wine, then you haven’t been listening too closely then.
I first saw them live at the Melbourne Zoo in early 2009, where they played with Eddy Current Suppression Ring, they were okay, nothing amazing but definitely showed that they were a band on the way up. I saw them again last week at the Forum. They were brilliant. Tight and really got into the music, but most of all they had an arsenal of great songs. They even have to play Remember Me and for a band that has just released their debut album that’s a pretty bold decision, but nonetheless, it was a great set.
Okay, so Innerspeaker is a seriously impressive album. Australian rock bands have a knack of doing that, just think of band’s like Jet, The Vines and Wolfmother, all making great debut’s (although some didn’t make good second albums *cough* Jet *couch*), Tame Impala are a bit different though, and I’ll tell you why. While other bands push the lines of using influences in their music and straight out copying other bands, Tame Impala have truly made a record that takes in all their influences and creates something different.
Innerspeaker starts with a great intro, while the whole song has merit, i would’ve loved just to hear the intro of ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’ and then launch straight into ‘Desire Be, Desire Go’, it worked for them at their gig and I think it would have made the album just that little bit closer to perfection.As I mentioned before the second track is a re-recorded version of ‘Desire Be, Desire Go’, it’s a fair re-recording, it has more of a shoegaze and summery feel to it, which I think suits the album.
Another standout is ‘Lucidity’, a pulsing beat projects both the guitars and bass into your head and it stays there. It really does stick in your head, believe me. I think this is the strength of the album, every song has that pop sensibility and yet it sounds “out there” and retro. That’s something that is rarely achieved, in essence, Tame Impala have not only made an album that can be listened to droves of indie kids, they have made an album that can be listened to lover’s of 70’s music and they could also reach the untouchable commercial radio stations.
‘Jeremy’s Storm’ is the band’s instrumental track that was absolutely amazing live, it had a slow build up and then let rip. The album version doesn’t quite capture the live version but it’s certainly still a song worth noting. It does satisfy, especially if you really intently listen to it.
‘Solitude Is Bliss’, what more can I say. It’s the lead single and stands out by far over every other track, it’s catchy and it’s got lyrics that are made to be sung along to.It weaves through the phases while still sticking to the spine of the song which is extremely hard to do, it’s something that Swedish band Dungen do well also. For people who end up loving this album, go out and buy Dungen’s albums, they are made in the same vein to Tame Impala and are seriously fun to listen to.
The thing I really enjoyed about this release over their EP was the fact that you could hear the lyrics. Which is not always that important to me, but for some reason this release just hit the spot lyrically. Innerspeaker is the sign that Tame Impala are evolving and I for one love this transformation.
Overall, I can’t really criticise this album. It was above my hefty expectations and this definitely surprised me. They will be big, there’s no doubt about it, it just a matter of how long it takes. Go out and buy it, you won’t regret it and it may just change how you view Australian music.
Reviewers Pick: “Lucidity”
Stand-out Tracks: “Lucidity”, “Desire Be Desire Go”, “Jeremy’s Storm”, “Solitude Is Bliss”