Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Tame Impala – Borderline

Feels like I’m going to lose my mind…


Alfred Soto: It takes guts to cut electro pop this tepid and call it “Borderline.” Maybe they haven’t heard (of) Madonna — I wouldn’t put it past them.

Julian Axelrod: Right now Tame Impala’s closest analogue is Arcade Fire circa 2013: Beloved indie stalwarts and Real Rock Saviors make the jump to festival headliner status, try on an uneasy new dance sound to fill their big new stage. Just as time has revealed Reflektor‘s bloat, “Borderline” feels like dance music made by people who wouldn’t even groove at a wedding. I don’t hate any of it; every detail is carefully calibrated, every sonic shape-shift perfectly planned. But it’s so busy thinking about the next step that it misses the beat. When I saw Tame Impala last summer, I was surrounded by rapturous teens who sang along to every song — not just the lyrics, but the synth runs and bass lines. Tame Impala’s been making dance music. The only difference now is their intent.

Tim de Reuse: It’s nice how consistently it centers that adventurous bassline, and I’m a sucker for tinny rave pianos clanking about in the back of any mix — good on them for straying ever so slightly from their roots, I guess. But this stays on such an even keel the whole way through that I can’t help but feel like I’m listening to something specifically designed to start off one of those human-curated Spotify playlists intended for people to half-listen to on board game nights.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The kick drum has a real pulse to it, and it establishes a sense of movement before the rest of the instrumentation fleshes out the song’s danceable groove. While Kevin Parker’s bassline is as crucial as ever, it’s the tasteful use of bongos and pan flutes that makes this feel simultaneously dense and light: brimming with ideas and color, yet undeniably dreamy. It helps that it’s so immaculately produced — little else in the indie world right now feels so expertly engineered.

Katherine St Asaph: When I was 22 the world felt sleek and noir and charged, sepia haze and foggy lights and crushingly tall buildings. Time has passed, the world has been drained of it, and so I find myself clutching at anything that comes remotely close, even if it’s a mediocre Tame Impala song when I stop really paying attention.

Alex Clifton: This blurb was going to be a comparison of all the 2010s indie band influences I heard in here (chiefly Broken Bells, MGMT, and some of LCD Soundsystem’s dance groove) but honestly I got really bored and couldn’t finish the song because it already felt like a sad extended dance remix at a very bad graduate student house party. 

Ian Mathers: Every generation needs their Supertramp, I guess.

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One Response to “Tame Impala – Borderline”

  1. I thought this was boring when I first heard it but repeated listenings and it has grown on me. The bass is great, his falsetto vocals are perfect, and the call and response part is inspired. I’m a fan.