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InnerSpeaker

4.7 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 16, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 debut album from the Australian Rock trio. The album sounds like a mashup between The Beatles Sgt Pepper & Caribou's Andorra. Recorded and produced by the band's own Kevin Parker with Death In Vegas's Tim Holmes on the engineer duties, in an enormous mansion with 180 degree views of the Indian Ocean. It was then mixed in upstate New York, by renowned sonic maverick Dave Fridmann (MGMT / Flaming Lips). The resultant record features the single 'Solitude Is Bliss', a joyous summertime romp through fields of honeyed harmony and crispy good times and is just the very tip of the amorphous cosmos that Tame Impala inhabit.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 16, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mod Records
  • ASIN: B003HGKJH8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm 48-years-old and I refuse to "get lost in a decade" vis-a-vis music. I know too many people who are stuck in a certain decade of music, usually the decade they went to high school. I love discovering new bands, new sounds and I enjoy it so much I'm willing to listen to a LOT of bad music to find those gems. This is absolutely one of those gems. Most people mention track two, Desire Be Desire Go or track six, Solitude Is Bliss as the standouts, and they are good, but track one, It's Not Meant To Be is the true masterpiece. As other has said, Tame Impala sounds like they are channeling Lennon à la Sergent Pepper, and that's true, but they also incorporate a healthy dose of Tears For Fears and more obscure names like Kula Shaker, who had an EP called Summer Sun (Tame Impala had an EP called Modular Recordings with a single called "Sundown Syndrome"). This album is sonic heroin, stick it in and get high.
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Format: Audio CD
Whether you're okay with a band so blatantly borrowing from so many genres to make an album will definitely sway your impressions of Tame Impala's "Innerspeaker". If you can get square with that idea you're in for a unique treat, and one of the finest albums of 2010 (so far).

The first thing you'll notice is lead singer Kevin Parker's uncanny ability to channel John Lennon's vocal style. It's almost distracting during the first listen, but you soon begin to realize that his voice is utilized like an organic instrument, weaving its way through the lush instrumentation and the wall-of-sound psychedelia that may seem disingenuous to those well initiated with the genre. However, there is something more happening with this album that constantly evolves and takes shape right up until the last track. It is important to listen to this album as a whole as it is more or less devoid of catchy, bubble-gum sweetness that is required in the moody and temperamental singles market. Allowing it to unfold naturally is key to noticing its intricacies, from its nods to British pop, to its Pink Floyd-style psychedelics. It's an album, in every sense of the word.

Dave Fridmann and Tim Holmes record and mix "Innerspeaker", and it's immediately apparent that their work is all over this album. Expansive feedback, fat snare pulses, and echoed vocals abound in this one, making it near impossible to not get sucked into its all encompassing sound palettes. Likening the sound of "Innerspeaker" to Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips would certainly not be a lazy comparison, but where the Lips tend to lean more heavily on electronics to explore the space, Tame Impala depend on their trusty six-strings to get their guitar-jangled swerve on.
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Format: Audio CD
It's hard not to evoke comparisons to other bands when reviewing this CD because let's be honest, Tame Impala has perfectly captured the essence of several bands that have paved the way before them. But while playing Spot the Influence is an easy, winnable game with this band, that in no way means that their debut album "Innerspeaker" is in any way boring, predictable, or simply a re-hash of previous ideas. Instead, Tame Impala has taken the space rock vibes of early Pink Floyd, the bluesy riffs of Cream, the over-the-top psychedelica of The Flaming Lips, put them into an blender, and created something exciting and new.
Opening track "It Is Not Meant To Be" sets the tone. A short burst of static, a heavily effected arpeggio, and a lazy drum beat loaded with cymbals sets the stage for a galloping guitar riff that evokes images of playing under the stars in the Australian Outback with the mysterious red Ayers Rock as a backdrop. This is big, expansive music. When the lyrics arrive, also heavily effected, the tale is one of frustrated love with an obligatory reference to sitting around smoking weed (hence the problem- she doesn't want to!). The closing guitar solo is powerful but kind of lazy, in that succinct, direct way that David Gilmour made so effective. The song then fades away in a mess of noise. A perfect table setter for what is to come.
"Solitude is Bliss" sounds like it belongs on Cream's Greatest Hits- a bluesy stomp with a beautiful dreamlike coda. "Jeremy's Storm" is the to-be-expected instrumental that builds to a noisy climax closely related to the epic climaxes of such songs as "Echoes". "Runway Houses City Clouds" takes us back to the Outback and its hard not to imagine watching the sun set as the band takes us into musical twilight.
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1 Comment 15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
This is not an accolade I would bestow on any musical act lightly. In an age where any new music that is not derivative of something that was once great for it's own time is pretty much guaranteed to be garbage, I was sure I'd be relegated to a life of contempt and cynicism. But hearing "Innerspeaker" for the first time was nothing short of a life-changing event for me. To hear an album of tracks which shine with the finest attributes of classic rock sound without regurgitating them, yet with it's own distinct sonic identity and a coherence throughout the whole CD is an experience I'm not likely to have any time soon. This is sheer brilliance in songwriting, execution, and production. Though the quality here should stand beyond comparison, to overlook the Lennonesque quality of Kevin Parker's vocals would be admittedly ignoring the elephant in the room. On that note, Tame Impala could somewhat be likened to an alternate-history revisioning of the Beatles...

Branching off from "Revolver", John Lennon, instead of decaying into a self-absorbed heroin-addled burnout, continues to progress as a songsmith, while Paul McCartney, instead of hogging up way too much album space by crapping out piles of toytown whimsy, becomes an alcoholic and gets relegated to the rhythm section where he belongs. Ringo Starr and George Martin are replaced by Ginger Baker and Eddie Kramer, respectively. And there you have an oversimplified idea of what "Innerspeaker" would sound like.

Comparisons aside, this is music that will withstand the test of time (I shudder to use the nonetheless appropriate phrase "timeless classic") . While the whole CD is solid, my favorite tracks are "Alter Ego", "Desire Be, Desire Go", "Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind", and "Runaway, Houses, City, Clouds". Seriously. Buy this CD.
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