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Tame Impala - Currents (Review)

tame impala cover art currents text album australia

Tame Impala, the Australian Synth-Pop-Rock band, bounced onto the scene with their critically varied first album, Innerspeaker. I personally thought they showed alot of potential on the album but vary rarely provided any notion that they had their own sound and style. In the words of TheNeedleDrop 'They sounded like a Beatles cover band'. Kevin Parker took alot of time to work on their follow up album, the astounding Lonerism. Wherein they really found that niche sound that they created in parts throughout Innerpseaker. What Kevin really utilised on Lonerism was the synth-y guitars that became pretty much synonymous with the album. So when it was announced that on this third album Tame Impala would be limiting the use of the guitars for a more well-rounded electro sound their fans were understandably dismayed and disappointed at the thought. It may be due to this reason that commercially this album received a mixed reaction from the public but an outstanding reaction from reviewers and critics alike.

Firstly, Currents opens with the heart-induced Let It Happen. A 7 minute epic poem in ways which really acts a masterclass for the production skills of Kevin, whom really exerts his power on the latter half of this track which goes from the cry of 'Let it Happen' to the electro-hypnotic rifts that take place in the song towards the last 3 minutes. What really shines through on this opener is the fact that it's a flawless 7 minute song and this really is something to beholdin the days of splicing interviews and monologues into the middle of songs or the constant repetition of a beat or verse. This psychedelia continues into the whole album (Something to be expected of Tame Impala, obviously) but it dissolves at times like the song The Moment which seems to form some sort of 80's throwaway song, and I mean that in the nicest possible way because I really love this song and I'm really loving these 80's throwbacks (Like The 1975's second studio album, an absolute 80's orgyfest). Because what happened in the 80's was artists took chances, they experimented with sounds and it really was a defining decade for music in so many ways so when a track throws back to that extremely influential time, I'm all for it.

One thing I noticed about this album compared to the previous two Tame Impala albums was simply the cleanliness of it. If you were to take the track The Less I Know The Better for example, the instrumentation is really well rounded and it brings together this really smooth, dreamy sound that I just never seem to get from the sound of synth-enduced guitars. Another thing about this album is the subject matter, I feel that in some ways this was extremely varied, for example i love the idea of Yes I'm Changing which came about after lead man Kevin Parker started to wear shoes on stage after years of not doing so and the opposite end of the scale we have the song Past Life which takes place in and around a dry cleaners where he sees an ex and the whole thing is extremely cringely and unnecessarily creepy with the dark, hounding voice over. The best subject matter and lyrics, in my opinion, is the song I previously mentioned The Less I Know The Better. I absolutely adore this song and the idea behind it, the fact that he's in love with this one girl but she is at it with another guy and he just can't understand why she doesn't know they belong together. The song is both relateable and imaginable and the more a song has of these two the better.

All in all, the dreamy, soft and synthed up third album from Tame Impala is an absolutely fantastic album which is simply a must listen to for most music fans because it really changed my opinion on the band and the attempt at the return of synth-pop that it fast approaching, especially with the recent success of The 1975. Kevin Parker can also take a bow on, as well as everything else, the production on this album because it contains some of the softest, well rounded beats of the year and for that I applaud him because sometimes the mixture of instruments (See the use of the triangle on Love/Paranoia) seems odd but ultimately and expertly it works. Incredible album.


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