Currents: New Taste, Same Old Tame Impala



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Taking couple steps backwards, I remember that time when I first “knew” Tame Impala and their Innerspeaker. The first moment I have realized that I would never get enough with their music.

“There’s a party in my head, and no one is invited.”

To be precise, that lyric from Solitude Is Bliss really represents how I am whenever listening to their music. I can’t really describe.

Not enough with Innerspeaker, I got their initial  Antares, Mira, Sun (EP) and got more and more involved personally with their music. And later on following their concert I gladly attended in 2011, there came Lonerism–for, again, I still couldn’t get more than enough with their music. No, it does not mean that it isn’t wonderful (Indeed it is wonderful). But, it’s just that listening to them always makes me crave more, and more of their music.

And, it’s great that here I’m now listening to their brand new “baby” Currents I finally purchased from itunes after quite an impatient wait following their release of Let It Happen. Thank to them that they did not let the fans “perplexed” by Currents through the release of Let It Happen and three other songs via Youtube. I took it as some kind of hint for another new big thing the front man, Kevin Parker, has created.

As for Tame Impala‘s early fans, I believe that, like me, they must have sensed the “changes” Kevin was about to present in Currents since they first listened to the “preview”. Before the release, some articles even had spoiled it anticipatedly by stating the genre change–from rock to disco (that was disregarded by Tame Impala from one of their post on their official instagram. Haha.).  But, well, I must admit the big metamorphosis occuring to Currents. Where in this album, you would never hear many of their very psychedelic guitar riffs. Where you would barely hear Kevin’s John-Lennon-charactered vocal, where he sang even more in falsetto. Where you would rather want to move your body more to dance that rarely happened (I must say did not) with their previous albums. But oh guys, it’s Tame Impala. It’s Kevin Parker‘s! Even the big change Kevin made to Currents never seemed to be suck like, at all to me.

In one of their interview during Lonerism, I once heard Dom stating the reason why it’s Kevin (who created almost everything). He said that because whenever Kevin created music for Tame Impala, even when he took it from outer space, it would still sound like Tame Impala. And I agree. I must say, I never heard a precise similarity among their albums. I meant, they always produced something new, different touches in their albums. But, those differences have never failed in my ears. Every album seems always great to me with its own peculiarity. And, Dom was right, whatever the music sounds like, it’s still ‘very’ Tame Impala. Cause, yup, it’s Kevin Parker, buddies!

Speaking of Currents, unlike their previous Innerspeaker and Lonerism that were more about a self-removal from society, Currents “story-tells” you more about dissolution of a relationship, letting-go stuff and such. Sounds very pop, right? Even, somehow Yes I’m Changing reminds me of The Police‘s Every Breath You Take (don’t ask why? Haha).

Talking a little about their music, in this album you would listen more to dj-set-kinda music with a touch of Tame Impala. You know, those repetition things, the upbeat things, the more analogue keyboards, the less pedal-based guitar riffs (I don’t understand),  and such that barely existed in their previous albums. You can check it in the presence of Nangs, Gossip, and Past Life. If I can compare a little, Currents is like the vintage version of Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories. I don’t know, I just think that it is like a ‘crossbreeding’ between underground and popular music (umm, I’m not sure with that word ‘popular’), between 70’s rock and 80’s dance pop. And, there I got the closest word from Pitchfork: psychedelic disco hybrid. Haha.

By the way, discovering that Currents is a one-man self-produced and home-recorded album (so Kevin is the producer, the arranger, the composer and all), I somehow think Kevin is crazy (in a good way, haha.). He’s really on his own head. He spoke once in one of the interviews, that it was such a pleasure when you could produce your own music. He said, when doing so, you could liberally create music that was very you, something that was close to a compilation album, where you would love all of the songs. So, he made sure that every song was perfectly “furnished” before the release. Whew, what an obsessive compulsive perfectionist freak he is. Lol. But knowing his view makes me understand why every album they released is always a decent thing for me and is exactly as Kevin described about the compilation thing where I could fit in to every song in every album they launched. Even a single release like their cover of Blue Boy‘s Remember Me has given me an isolated self-satisfaction. As always.

Well, in brief, Currents is like a new “taste” of Tame Impala that you would discover. And, just like every album they had, Currents has its own unique that would bring you to a different dimension, to that “colourful” world of your own. And, here I would gladly wait for their another experiment, which (okay I admit) hopefully would never lose its roots.

Favorite tracks: Let It Happen, Gossip, The Less I Know The Better, and Reality In Motion


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