Tame Impala have always been a firm favourite for indie DJ’s and remixers (yeah, they do still exist), such as Erol Alkan and Ducktails, and they pretty much clean up with album of the year awards whenever they release one, so why think this time might be any different?
Currents was released a couple of weeks ago, and it’s received all the acclaim it deserves from the critics. As soon as the opening sequence of “Let It Happen” kicks in, you can kind of see where they are going.
A departure from the pseudo-psych of their 2012 release – Lonerism, the good news is that they’ve purchased a Korg Kaoss Pad or something similar, and they ain’t afraid to use it along the way, particularly as the opus opener continues (for 7 mins 48 secs).
Definitely with loads more electronic elements to anything they’ve ever done before, Tame Impala have progressed with this one for sure. Especially with the added dimension that their (still reasonably) new bassist Cam Avery brings to the party. He’s miles better than the other geezer, and he’s kind of the star of the show, exhibited by the beautiful “Yes I’m Changing” and the majestic “The Less I Know The Better”, which doesn’t sound like a Tame Impala song but fits seamlessly into the proceedings, and is probably the highlight of the album for me.
The Australian band have always been the darlings of the music press, and with Currents, they’ve merely served to cement that position. Not a bad word has been said about it, even though the absence of practically any guitar on the whole thing could potentially have divided their most ardent followers. This is the sound of a group who are basically playing a different game to the rest at the moment, although midway track “Past Life” could be a touch unnecessary, I don’t care about anybody picking up their dry cleaning and then seeing a ghost or whatever.
And if I were being super-critical, I would say that the second half of Currents probably becomes a bit monotonous, as the lack of any real bite and guitar work takes its toll. I’m really happy they’ve discovered synths, but you know, everything in moderation. That said, even the second half is still better than most of the shit that’s coming out at the moment, so who cares?