For anyone who has taken on the burden of upholding a new band or artist, you've almost certainly been caught in the "they just don't make music like they used to" argument. While there are all sorts of variations on the "good ol' days" platform, the most common charge is that bands today just don't rock anymore, at least in the classic Zeppelin/Sabbath sense. Perhaps this is what made Tame Impala's 2010 debut Innerspeaker feel like such a big deal. It was a trump card, a record that took the best of those classic bands — think the "Heartbreaker" riff sent to wander in the psychedelic haze of "Strawberry Fields" — and melded them into a sound distinct enough to avoid the revivalist tag. In Lonerism, Tame Impala took a crucial step by distancing themselves from some of their most overt influences in favor of a more personalized, impactful sound. It's the kind of album the term "headphone record" was made for: swirling with intricate studio touches that make even its quietest moments bristle. None of this is to say Lonerism will be getting into KZEP's rotation anytime soon; however, it oughta give the good ol' days crowd something to chew on.
★★★★ ½ (out of 5 stars)