Tame Impala

Currents

Written by: BV on 13/07/2015 13:38:15

”Lonerism” was probably one of the greatest successes for neo-psychedelic rock music in recent times, having helped nudge the genre into something of a mainstream acclaim with tracks like ”Elephant”, ”Apocalypse Dreams” and, of course, ”Feels Like We’re Only Going Backwards”. Now, such success often puts an enormous amount of pressure on the artist to actually follow up on, and develop the sound people have now come to define them by. Three years after “Lonerism”, Kevin Parker returns under the Tame Impala moniker with “Currents” – an album that instantly sounds vastly different from what made “Lonerism” (or “Innerspeaker”) so special. Parker has obviously never been much for doing the same thing twice and this could also be felt on the development from “Innerspeaker” to “Lonerism” where the latter introduced some sugary sweet pop elements into the mix – to great success. What “Currents” is introducing, however, is a pallet of dance music sounding like something you’d be tripping and dancing to on a beach somewhere the likes of Goa. Long gone are the scuzzy fuzz guitars while the synths introduced on “Lonerism” are given an even more prominent place in the mix.

With album opener and debut single “Let it Happen” there is a hint of guitar – albeit a funky, disco-sounding guitar – which introduces the whole thing to the listeners as if to ease us into the somewhat radical change. Over the course of the next 8 minutes the listener is taken through a series of danceable synthesizer hooks, droning loops and sounds usually dominating electronic dance music. It’s not what I’d expected, let me just say that, but in the greater theme of the album as a whole, things start to make sense. “Currents” has been described by Parker as an album exploring metamorphosis, change, as a dominating concept. The change is explored from the inside of the mind of the person doing the change and is, as such, still quite an intriguing concept to follow. Suddenly titles like “Let it Happen”, “Yes I’m Changing” and “Eventually” all seem to make more sense – as do the lyrics if you examine them closer.

While the album can obviously be viewed as a let-down in terms of guitar music, the album still boasts some impressive highlights in the form of “’Cause I’m a Man”, “Let it Happen” and “Reality in Motion” with especially “’Cause I’m a Man” standing out as the premier highlight of “Currents”. Tracks like the strange little interlude “Nangs” are discombobulating to say the least, and “Disciples” is essentially a musical tease with its short duration, in spite of a pretty cool groove. As per usual there is not a single bad thing to be said about Kevin Parker’s production and recording technique as these have only gotten more immersive and downright easy to be absorbed by, as time has progressed but at some point I fear it might actually become too pristine for its own good – eliminating the human feel in the process.

On “Yes I’m Changing”, Parker sings; ”I was raging, it was late / In the world my demons cultivate / I felt the strangest emotion but it wasn't hate, for once / Yes I'm changing, yes I'm gone / Yes I'm older, yes I'm moving on / And if you don't think it's a crime you can come along with me” and these lyrics are perhaps the most apt description of “Currents” as a whole. Tame Impala has moved on once again but if you can dig where the Impala is going then it seems you can come along for the ride. In any case I’m certain “Currents” will divide Tame Impala’s fan-base – but I also think most people will warm up to the change eventually.

8

Download: ‘Cause I’m a Man, Let it Happen, Yes I’m Changing
For The Fans Of: The Flaming Lips, Pond, Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 17.07.2015
Interscope Records



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