Tame Impala – Currents review

CURRENTSTomorrow marks the release of the highly anticipated third studio album from Australian outfit Tame Impala. Written, recorded, produced and mixed solely by Kevin Parker in Fremantle, West Australia, this thirteen track offering sees the musical genius find his voice previously coated in electronics and reverb. Thus far four tracks have been released off the record, all of which have sent fans into a sufficient amount of frenzy, and rightly so, with Parker at his clear best on this release.

It’s a little offbeat to open a release with an almost eight minute track, but Let It Happen proves it’s not a bad move to. Though Parker’s vocals don’t lead the sound here, they’re a far cry from the submerged and overwhelmed style fans will have been accustomed to; this clarity and confidence reflects the the defter and more intricate style he head on tackles with Currents. As the vocals fade into synth hooks and electro snaps, I find myself wishing the album had been released as one song to allow the sound to flow.

Sub-two minute Nangs borders cinematic with psychedelic in allowing the masked vocals to surface again, whilst the upbeat chimes which open The Moment match a summery mood to the faraway vocals that shimmer through the echos and and eastern-tinged instrumental. Though Yes I’m Changing has a backing and opening rather similar to The 1975’s Robbers, there’s an unapologetic and humble honesty to the vocals that makes it a lyrical favourite – though I’m not struck on the raw edge added by the cityscape backing

Recently released Eventually provides huge thumps of psychedelia and leans into the thicker side of the album, and though it touches on repetitive at times, there’s a real time-warping feel to the music. Dreamy Gossip continues this, an interlude that deserves stretching way beyond 55 seconds, whilst the same dreamy vocals in The Less I Know The Better contrast the strict bass line of the song.

Thick, deep and edited vocals in Past Life appeal to the psychedelic style Tame Impala nail, though it juxtaposes the lightness of the rest of the record and feel clunky and dark for it, whilst Disciples boasts falsetto over a playful bass, another track that deserves to stretch past two minutes. ‘Cause I’m A Man sees the vocals slip away despite the fact that they may be at their most intriguing here, and although Reality In Motion could easily be a fun single, it comes across as too bogged down in thick instrumental.

These blips are washed away in Love Paranoia, the attention worthy lyricism matching the ever changing and sparkling backing, and final New Person, Same Old Mistakes, an epic six minute closer, winds things down among dazzling layered vocals fighting both the corners of optimism and melancholy.

In many ways Tame Impala are the gateway drug of pop to psychedelic music, charming you in with electro pops and then baffling you with manic instrumental. Currents is easily Tame Impala’s best work to date, and is nothing short of excellent.

You can listen to Let It Happen below.

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