Review #89: Tame Impala – Currents

Artist – Tame Impala
Album – Currents (2015)

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Tame Impala are a psychedelic rock band from Perth, Australia. The group formed in 2007 and consist of Kevin Parker – vocals/guitar, Jay Watson – synth/guitar/vocals, Dominic Simper – guitar/synth, Cam Avery – bass/guitar/vocals and Julien Barbagallo – drums/vocals. Parker is the brains behind this project, writing, recording and producing all the music, the rest of the aforementioned musicians are there as a touring band, so that Parker can demonstrate his art live. Tame Impala released a string of singles and E.Ps before decidingto release their first album ‘Innerspeaker’ to critical acclaim. Then came the equially impressive ‘Lonerism’ in 2012 and now their 3rd release ‘Currents’.

Tame Impala’s last two albums (especially the first) were continuously linked with the more psychedelic work of The Beatles and of Pink Floyd, whether it be in a positive light or negative (as in too similar). With ‘Currents’ it seems that the band have tried to move slightly away from this sound, still very much keeping the psychedelic sound, but incorporating far more electronics, to the point where there are more synths than guitars. I don’t necessarily feel this is a bad move, what Parker has done with the synths is interesting and adds more depth to his catalogue and dimensions to his band, creating more diversive music rather than the same album after album. The one gripe i had with this album and a gripe I have with numerous band around today was the vocal tone and delivery from singer Kevin Parker. That falsetto, nasally tone that every indie band seems to has is just getting quite tiresome, which is disappointing coming from such as interesting band instrumentally/musically as Tame Impala. This vocal style detracts from how interesting and innovative each piece sounds, especially when the music is so dynamic, yet the vocals are just flat (dynamically) throughout and keep within the same tight range. My particular favourite would have to be the songs ‘Let It Happen’ and ‘The Moment’.

Currents is a unique and interesting album from Tame Impala, showing a new pathway in which the band may take for foreseeable future. The music instrumentally is aggressive, but then relaxing at times. Just change that vocal style.


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