Tame Impala have a penchant for creating complicated pop songs that create a genre in itself. In their first single since their critically acclaimed 2015 album Currents, “Patience” finds the band honing their craft in accentuating every detail and beat to form a melody like no other.
From the opening strings and piano, to the shifting drums and synthesized beats, each element plays a distinct role in encapsulating a groove that builds into the chorus. Playing with genres like disco and synth pop, the track is a lighthearted introduction to their evolved sound.
With a radiant backdrop, Parker’s lyrics take center stage as they portray an introspective outlook on the role of time in every person’s endeavours. Opening with questions like “Has it really been that long?” and “Did we just go back at all / All the way to step one?”, Parker tackles the difficulties of living up to expectations and whether his evolving sound still relates to the current generation.
Revisiting a common theme by Tame Impala of embracing change, this song serves to portray Parker at a crossroads. As he sings “We’re growin’ up in stages / and i’m runnin’ out of pages”, the immediacy of his message culminates in the chorus’ declaration that “time takes from everyone.”
Longtime fans may feel unimpressed after their first listen as its disco-like leanings lack the ambitious intensities shown in tracks like “Let It Happen” or “Apocalypse Dreams.” The constant flow, or groove, attributes to this sentiment as the twists and turns synonymous with their most well known songs are lacking. Moreover, by relying on this groove to embody the core of this song, listeners are left hearing an effect-driven showcase of reverb and phasers that take precedent throughout.
While the lyrics highlight Parker’s evolution as an artist and person, the sunny beat lessens the impact of these intimate revelations. Ultimately, this track needs the context that the entire album will provide. As the sole material to draw upon, this can be misleading for fans who either love or are indifferent to it.
Once a few more singles are released and listeners can grasp a feel for the new sound then one can determine how the track is empowered or let down by the tracklisting. Until then, “Patience” flexes Tame Impala’s effect driven muscles but lacks their eccentric might.
Track Rating: 7/10
Track Review By: Matthew Gavidia