My wife and I tend to generally share the same opinion when it comes to music. We may love somewhat different bands (I’m a Queen guy, she’s a Blur girl, which may have to do with the age gap), but we like the same stuff: rock, indie, old school, some hip hop to look cool… the usual musical suspects. So, whenever there’s a band that divides us, I find the situation interesting and I want to analyse it further. Such is the case with Tame Impala, arguably one of the biggest rock bands out there, who almost single-handedly resurrected psychedelic rock, and that’s saying something.
Yet, my wife is not amused: she finds their music a little too “soft”, repetitive and/or slow. I may be paraphrasing here (and including some of my comments, to be honest) but the gist is this: she doesn’t think they are really all that good, and clearly not worth the hype. And I would (still) tend to disagree: I like the sophistication of their sound, I like the melodies and I like that 70’s flavour they were able to bring back along. I wouldn’t say they are the best rock band in the world (that would be Queen, obviously) or even the best active rock band in the world (still Queen, now with Adam Lambert), but hey: I like their stuff and I enjoy listening to it whenever it plays on the radio.
I will, however, admit that they are not the best band live: I saw them perform at a festival a few years ago (granted, a festival may not be the ideal setting for such a band, or any band, but still) and I was not entirely convinced: studio finesse doesn’t come out as distinctly in an outdoor setting, as one can imagine. And their energy on stage is, well, somewhat subdued, if one is to try and remain nice and positive about the whole thing. In other words, I would agree with my wife - live.
And then they released a new track. It’s called “Borderline”, it was launched earlier this year as a single (no new album in sight, as far as we know) and it’s all it’s cracked up to be. It’s basically one long and infectious electro-funk-rock riff with the usual rather high pitched voice on top. It’s not revolutionary, not even within the band’s catalogue: clearly reminds us of previous work of theirs, such as 2015’s “The Less I Know The Better”, but in a good way. And it does add a bit of Parcels / Daft Punk flair to it, i.e. a slightly more dynamic, dance-inducing rhythm. Essentially, it takes the best of the old, sprinkles it with some of the best out there, and creates yet another smooth 4 minutes of music.
It may not be enough for my wife, but it’s enough for me. Until Queen release some new stuff. Any new stuff.