Friday, May 1st, 2015

Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m a Man

If you say so.

Josh Love: This band’s slavish stoner rock rehash has provided one of the most baffling cases of critical anointment I’ve encountered in the past few years. Folks are going gaga over this single too. The bass and drums sound great but otherwise it’s a tepid soul smoothie, and while it’s not a fatal flaw that this song is less interested in sex than the sexes, what it really trades in is self-pity. It’s as if band mastermind Kevin Parker took all those vocal comparisons to John Lennon and decided to write his own “Jealous Guy,” though at least I believe Lennon’s feeling something.

Danilo Bortoli: I’m usually conflicted about discrediting this band as a poorer, less qualified and creative (let’s face it: they’re mediocre) version of Sweden’s Dungen, but when I first saw the above song title I just shrugged and went to listen to Skit I Allt, accepting their fate.

Alfred Soto: You say “shuffle,” I say “plod,” we all say “clods.”

Anthony Easton: I love the liquid falsetto, how the guitars flirt but never capitulate to rock and roll. I love how it slightly gender fucks the whole problem of what a man is without being self-congratulatory. Also the out-of-breath vocals near the end remind me of Bowie, which is nice.�

Iain Mew: “I hope people don’t see it as sexist in any way. That would upset me, but I wouldn’t put it past people to interpret it like that because people have wack interpretations of things sometimes” says Kevin Parker. I’ll spare him the full wack interpretation and just say that the narrative of men having no self control is generally used to excuse rather than condemn, and there’s no reason in the lyrics to read this any differently. Though such a pillow-soft, woozy dream of perfect musical control is an odd setting for the sentiment, so there’s that.

Micha Cavaseno: Bruh, this sounds like a Zero 7 record. Not in the good way either — like the midway point between Zero 7 and UNKLE. I’m not trying to say it sounds like trip-hop, although that synth has DJ *el-p’s mocking voice* SHAD-DOEEEE salivating in Amoeba somewhere. This song is very chill, and if I wasn’t avoiding weed and, in fact, consistently embracing it to help brace me for the godawful chorus, I’d mess with it. Fortunately, I am not in a fog, and the Mr. Mouse Man routine of that terror falsetto and the clunky quality of their languid cruise is in hi-def for me. #For Fans Of: People who to reblog the fading transitions in Inherent Vice on Tumblr.

Katherine St Asaph: And I’m asleep.

Patrick St. Michel: Pretty bad apology approach, and a pretty boring one too.

Scott Mildenhall: The dulled funk of “psychedelic rock” is often a missed opportunity that leads to tedium, but this has just enough of a pulse to maintain interest, luxuriating in rather than lumbered by languor. Lyrically it’s not an attempt at a get-out mea culpa, but “the only answer I have for you”. So in other words, no excuse. It’s curiously unsympathetic characterisation, an ungenerous portrait of a fool – though that could be the generous appraisal.

Megan Harrington: This is an improvement on the rest of Tame Impala’s catalog, but it’s still a deep snoozer. I see in the YouTube comments for the video people are recommending it for relaxing on warm summer days, trips to the beach, and getting high. I’d only play it on those occasions where I want to multi-task by napping during those activities.

Brad Shoup: I can’t tell if I’m more nostalgic for Seals & Crofts or prime Will Ferrell. Either way, this dreamy dreck has got me.

Reader average: [8] (5 votes)

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One Response to “Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m a Man”

  1. I was gonna use #notallburnouts here but I figured someone else would pull out that trope.