The long awaited Australian gift to the world, “Currents” by Tame Impala has officially been released. Kevin Parker the man behind the music, with his John Lennon like voice, and his experimental grooves and hooks, has created something that veers far from the typical Tame Impala sound we have come to know and love. For all that love the 60’s psychedelic rock that Tame Impala mirrors, this is not what you’ll be getting with this album. Parker is layering genres together that coalesce beautifully. A little pop, dashed with some R&B, and brewed in all kinds of electronic music.
Tame Impala has not been around for all that long. This is only their third album, but the steps they have taken are monumental. They lured us in with the first two albums, by keeping them extremely similar and reviving a sound that any young indie stoner will always listen to. Once Parker knew he had us hooked that’s when he pulled the rug out from under us and slapped us in the face with the full genius that he is. Take the journey and let your brain find out for itself what it feels like to be in pure bliss from this album.
The most intriguing part about this album is that it uses barely any guitar, an instrument that Parker would have never gone without before. The album is oozing with synths and trembling bass lines. “Yes I’m Changing” pulls at the heart strings with it’s consistent beat, trickling with with his own philosophies of life. “Yes I’m changing, can’t stop it now/And even if I wanted I wouldn’t know how/Another version of myself I think I found at last.” This song particularly stands out to me because the change he sings about is not only evident through his lyrics, but through his new musical stylings as well.
For all those still trying to find the old Tame Impala in this album, “The Moment” is very similar to “Elephant” the song that made Tame Impala go from an indie cult band to not being able to escape that song anywhere you go. There are driblets of psychedelia throughout this song mixed with shimmering synths and Parker’s soothing voice. Both “Nangs” and “Gossip” are very similar to each other. Minimal beats, keeping it simple, but still evoking some emotion and played on the right speakers you will be able to hear every single bit of detail that went into making those short bundles of euphoria.
“I’m edging closer, shivers all over/It’s way too real, I’m way too sober.” Parker sweetly sings with a background of upbeat synths and drums. Parker is describing the physical and mental pains that he had been struggling through, and how he has dealt with it. This album begins to expose the introverted Kevin Parker, and it puts his personal life right where we can all reach it. We begin to be able to truly connect to not only the music but Parker himself. “The Less I Know the Better” tells the story of his ex falling in love with someone new. Parker’s sweet and sorrowful voice make you feel like you are in his shoes, and hope that no one ever has to feel the brain and heart scrambling emotions he has gone through.
I almost cried while listening to this album not just because of how melancholy it is, but because it is so masterful. I’ve always known that Kevin Parker was an incredible musician who can work any instrument in his favor, but he has truly outdone himself with “Currents.” We are taken on a roller coaster of emotion, synths, drum loops, disco, and so much more. This is the album from Tame Impala that is proving that they are more than just one genre. They can do anything, and they can do it well.I can only imagine how this album will sound live, and I can only hope that all music lovers around the world will rejoice about how wonderful this album is as much as I have been.
Bella Elbaum is a Los Angeles based writer and music enthusiast. You can follow her on Twitter