After the success of Tame Impala’s stunning second album Lonerism, it’s easy to see why newly released album number three Currents has been so highly anticipated. However, it was never as easy to know what exactly to anticipate – teaser tracks straight away showed that Currents would be a surprising venture, and surprising it certainly is, but in a “Wow” way rather than a “What on Earth is this” way. Synth-infused psychedelia lies at the heart of this album, setting it instantly apart from Kevin Parker and co.’s earlier guitar-dominated efforts.
The opening track Let It Happen is a high impact piece of retro sounding disco which instantly establishes the sheer genius behind Currents. At almost eight minutes long, the track is a journey that transports you from spaced out dreaminess to pulsating chorus, even incorporating scratched vinyl style repetition that shouldn’t work, but does. The tracks which follow are significantly more laid back and breezy than the anthemic opener. Nangs is like the calm after the storm, a slow paced, intricate number that serves more as an interlude along with Gossip, which at just shy of a minute long showcases Parker’s production expertise.
Change is an obvious theme throughout Currents, so the third track Yes I’m Changing is fittingly titled with the nostalgic sounding croon of ‘Yes I’m changing, yes I’m gone’ making for a slightly dazzling sound that continues throughout the rest of the album. Eventually is an initially heavier sounding heartbreak anthem that soon fades into the consistent synth-pop that reverberates throughout Currents’ entirety, similar to The Less I Know The Better, which opens with a funky riff that resonates through the glittering production throughout.
As a whole, Currents is summer-drenched. Upbeat and short-but-sweet, Disciples is the kind of song that you could have on repeat for hours, and absolutely reeks of days in the sun. ‘Cause I’m a Man is perhaps the icing on the Currents cake, despite being heralded by some as sexist. A hazy melody and smoldering vocals make for a floaty, chilled out summer soundtrack.
Different yes, disappointing no. Currents is a blissful venture that has proved Kevin Parker’s talents of production (along with pretty much everything else), and we sure are glad that he let this happen.
Words by Tabitha Green