One of the things I dislike most in human beings is their propensity to think themselves superior. One of my dearest friends came to this country at the age of 15 from a non-English speaking country and if there is one thing that makes me cringe, it's when he enquires about a word or phenomena he doesn't know the meaning of and is met with a derisive high-and-mighty you don't know what blah blah means?
This often happens to me when I tell people I don't like olives. People practically rear up on their hind legs, huffing and puffing, mucus shooting out of their nostrils and slapping the sides of their faces. How can you not like olives? What kind of person are you?
What's the big deal? Why does it bother people so much that I don't like olives, or avocado, or baked beans, or anal sex? Why can't I just not have a taste for these things in peace and harmony and not be made to feel like some kind of uncultured swine?
If I wasn't such an 'obstinate, headstrong girl' (this is a quote from Pride and Prejudice. If you do not recognise it, well that is fine by me, I will not judge you) I might feel bullied into keeping my dislikes to myself. Martyring my tastebuds at dinner parties and my backside in the bedroom so as not to lead people to believe that I am different and I fail to conform to their idea of 'taste'. But I am a bit of a 'get fucked' girl so I am going to say this with no fear of retribution or backlash from those who would see themselves as knowing better – I don't like Tame Impala.
Wow, I automatically feel as though I have to apologise for saying it. I'm not going to. But so deeply defined is the grain in this piece of mahogany that I have had to ask myself on numerous occasions – Liz, are your rare and overpriced truffles off?
So I get a copy of Lonerism because anyone who seems to be anyone has lauded it, globally, as the greatest thing in organic-free-range-foraged-fairly traded-ethical-music cooked by a chef with a lot of hats; and I assume my mind is going to erupt with the pleasure of it all; and the whiny little voice comes in telling me I've 'gotta be above it now'; and I feel, I feel, wholly underwhelmed.
Is that it? I think. And I skip to the next track but I'm still not taken by it. I keep it playing in my ears as I commute to work and I pretty much forget it's even playing until I find I'm beginning to get a bit irritable about something and I grope madly for the headphones and yank them out of my ears to discover instant relief. That was weird, I think. You must need to listen to it a few times before it grows on you – which is similar to what people tell me about olives and anal sex.
So I persevere. I play it while I'm Googling shit, while I'm cooking an olive-less puttanesca, while I'm not having anal sex, and every result is the same. As I get further and further into the album the urge to yank hair out of my head a single strand at a time, while staring blankly at padded walls, with cats inside my brain, maniacally throwing themselves claws first at the chalkboards in my head, grows more and more intense.
I spend hours trawling through reviews from Pitchfork and NME and SMH trying to work out why my ears don't “luxuriate in the diversity of tactile sensations”. I read lines like – “the subliminal whisper of the title becomes a rhythm track, a barrelling drum break is severely tweaked to sound like an oncoming rush of bison, a flanged guitar wobbles like neon Jello, and Parker's laconic, slightly echoed vocals pulls the whole thing together.” – and I think, what a wank. Sounds a bit like the last scene in every 21st century porno ever made. “Lonerism is a psychedelic experience full of multi-tracked voices, luscious harmonies and waves of sound pulling you into a drifting state of consciousness,” or, to put it more simply - “man ejaculates over woman's face.”
Ok that may have been a little derisive. A touch superior. I have come to accept that I am the only person on the planet who does not get into this band. And that's ok isn't it? I mean, you're all allowed to like it. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. I would not judge you.
Album Of The Week goes to Jamie xx's In Colour, Ben Lee has a new release and SOAK releases her debut in This Week's Releases.