Sound: The bands sound is a form of psychedelic indie rock. It's layered, trippy andout there but still retains enough pop sensibility to not alienate itself from the mainstreem market. The songs range from great pop gems (Solitude Is Bliss, Desire Be Desire G) to straight out psychedilia (Jeremy's Storm, Runway Houses City Clouds) and finishes on a sing along drum thumping number ( I Don't Really Mind). All these songs feature Tame Impala's trademark thick reverb filled guitar sounds and Kevin Parkes soaring vocals. A whole albums worth of this sound will be too much for some people, but if you are ready for the ride then you will certanly enjoy it.
The album was recorded in a holiday house south of Perth, Western Australia, where the band retreated to create this album. Interestingly Tame Impala is really Kevin Parker's solo project, he did play most instruments on this album and wrote just about all of the material. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics cover topics ranging from unreciprocated love (It Is Not Meant To Be), the joy of being alone (Solitude Is Bliss), to a sort of melancholic homesickness (Runway Houses City Clouds). They may not be the most original themes, but most the lyrics are well written (the only song with poor lyrics is 'The bold arrow of time', they just don't seem to work), and are honest in places and mysterious in others.
The lyrics aren't the primary focus in this music. The vocals blend in with the music, soaring over and through the music to complement it. I barely noticed the lyrics the first few listens, instead I found myself listening to their melody rather than their meaning. This is largely due to the fact that often the lyrics themselves have been treated with reverb. Some people will not like this, but I personally enjoyed the effect. The singer is decent, by no means exceptional, but his voice is not out of place in this music. // 8
Overall Impression: I have been told that Tame Impala sound much like Cream, but I have never listened to much Cream so I can't really comment on that. In my opinion, no other modern band sounds like Tame Impala, but they have obviously been influenced by the 60's, psychedlia and indie rock.
Stand out tracks include 'Desire be desire go', the only song from their self titled EP to make it onto the album, 'Why wont you make up your mind' and its mind bending reverb filled psychedelia, 'solitude is bliss', the only real straight pop song on the album, the instrumental storm of 'Jeremy's storm' and the great sing along drum thumping closer 'I don't really mind'.
This is a great album, the music is beautiful and takes me away to a special place.
I will always want a copy of this album on my mp3 player and in my CD rack. // 9