Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Tame Impala is Kevin Parker who you suspect probably has albums by Funkadelic, Giorgio Moroder, the Bee Gees and the Alan Parsons Project alongside mid-period Prince, late Beatles, dream-pop and Philly soul in his record collection.
The slightly overlong Posthumous Forgiveness here – about his problematic relationship with his late father – has a Philly soul backdrop underpinning his yearning vocal.
That theme of transience, time and relationships – and the need to grab the moment -- runs through this airy but grounded album, no doubt prompted not just by his dad's death but his 2018 loss of just about everything in a fire which went through Malibu taking out his apartment of equipment.
In the easy cruise of Breathe Deeper – think the Floaters at the beach on a balmy day with a beatbox – he seizes the time: “If you need someone to tell you you're special/to count on . . I can, believe me”. The increasing techno-funk makes the sentiment even more convincing.
Tomorrow's Dust is ethereal dream-pop where his almost-falsetto soars effectively over steadily pushing and punishing beats and goes out with swelling space-funk “orchestration”.
A little Lennon creeps in courtesy of piano-based ballads and vocal echo (On Track) and perhaps the key title here is Lost in Yesterday where he gets nostalgic, perhaps after listening to Stevie Wonder's Innervisions?
Impala/Parker is however something more than the sum of his many diverse parts and while not everything here grips as much as on Currents, his grooves can be quite irresistible even if his sometimes same-same vocals don't quite keep the attention over the hour.
If the broad idea here is that nothing last forever (as said on It Might Be Time which leans on Supertramp of all people, and in the manner of Brian Wilson laments friends all growing up ) then he seems to be doing his best to resuscitate some of his influences into a new, more psyche-funk dance-pop context.
And is mostly succeeding.
You can hear this Tame Impala album on Spotify here.