Tame Impala – Currents
For the past few years Tame Impala, aka the one-man studio machine Keven Parker, have been steadily redefining psychedelic rock for a millennial audience. This third outing takes off with Let It Happen, a fanfare of driving drums and kaleidoscopic synths that is reassuringly Tame Impala of old, but as it gains altitude Currents soars to a new level of sophistication.
“Yes I’m older/yes I’m moving on,” Parker falsettos amongst a placid beat and soft blanket of synths. It’s a gentle Lennon-esque introspection, maturity hard-earned through the kind of heartbreak and transition imparted by track titles including The Less I Know The Better, Love Paranoia, Gossip, and New Person Same Old Mistakes.
But the self-reflection is assured rather than apologetic; instead of a contrite Jealous Guy olive-branch, Cause I’m A Man slinks with cool indifference, a raised eyebrow of smooth 80s soul that counters “cause I’m a man, woman/that’s the only answer I got for you.” The heady funk rhythms that propel that particular song permeate the record and resolutely form the basis of Currents, seeping into Tame Impala’s psychedelic forcefield and imbuing it with a stylistic gravitas that announces a band at the peak of its powers. [Claire Francis]