If first single “Patience” wasn’t clue enough, second single “Borderline” is here to solidify Kevin Parker’s move into straight up pop music. I’m still sort of on the fence with that first single, but with “Borderline” I guess I’m kind of signing up for the Kevin Parker experience full-on, to Hell with the consequences.
Welcome to Tame Impala’s transformation to pop radio darlings.
When I’m listening to Tame Impala’s newest epic pop confection I feel a bit of deja vu, as if this song is some nugget from another time. I’m reminded of car rides into town with my mom in the early 80s. Those songs that would pop up on the radio as we’d get closer to the grocery store. A mixture of Alan Parsons Project, Toto, Wham!, and hints of Euro pop all rolled into a dreamy and melancholy dance track.
Though the song is very much a pop tune Kevin Parker hasn’t let go of his psychedelic tendencies. The song has enough going on with it sonically to make a mere pop ballad into something a bit more ethereal. The Innerspeaker-era Tame Impala seems to be all but gone, but the spirit of hazy interpretation and glassy-eyed wonder lives on.
I’m not sure how deep I’ll fall for this new album. I know it won’t be Lonerism deep. In 2012 I was pretty much blown away by that album. It carried with it this feeling of a musical wunderkind sad and alone, making music for a party no one would ever show up to. There was a certain kind of freedom and melancholy about that scene that won me over. There was still a bit of of psychedelic grit to the tracks, and Parker still sounded a bit like John Lennon trapped in a dream. As with every artist, it seems they want to move on from humble beginnings. I get that, and I don’t blame them. It’s just that certain albums trap very specific memories and emotions for me, and Lonerism was the soundtrack for 2012 for me.
But hey, here’s to new beginnings. And my kids seem to love Tame Impala now. So there’s that.