‘Currents‘ is the third album by Tame Impala and the first record of their’s that I bought. I picked it up in HMV because I thought the cover looked cool and then the cashier started raving on about them. I then found out how highly rated they are and that they were already pretty big. Also, with this record, Kevin Parker pretty much did the whole thing himself from writing to mixing. Nate little boyeen isn’t he.
Since purchasing this record I’ve gone back and bought their first two, ‘Innerspeaker‘ and ‘Lonerism‘. What you get with those two records is a psychedelic sound. It keeps with its origins of the 60’s in recording and sound and with some tracks you even feel it stepping on The Beatles toes. That’s fine though because recorded now the records sound great and came as a breath of fresh air. On ‘Currents’ however the sound changes and oh boy does it sound good. Parker wanted his music to be more accessible and to hear it in more common areas such as clubs and not just specific radio stations. It’s also important to mention with regards to my use of ‘they’ and ‘them’ when speaking about the band, that the band is actually only with Parker on tours. He does all the recording himself. In an interview with Pitchfork Parker said that he would get up around midday and work into the night, drinking along the way. He says “the flow is the most important thing for me for recording“, a flow he would fall into after a few drinks. This interests me because a ‘flow’ is something I’ve been studying and it is when you find yourself most creative, so I can only imagine what he would have been producing during this time.
ANYWAY, better tell you a little about the record. It certainly is a step in the direction of the dance floor, or at least a floor full of guys and gals who may have dropped something. ‘Let It Happen’ is one of the leading singles and tracks off the record and it’s a long introduction. Great track though. ‘Nangs’ is a short, beat laden track that’s about aerosol cans. Apparently ‘nangs’ is an Aussie slang term for the can and getting high. ‘The Moment’, judging by the lyrics is about living in the moment. Parker also seems to explain himself and the new direction Tame Impala took with the opening verse, “I fell in love with the sound of my heels on the wooden floor, I don’t want our footsteps to be silent anymore”. Perhaps he wanted to explain the change early in the record.
Following ‘The Moment’ is one of my favourite tracks, ‘Yes, I’m Changing’. A softly sung song about love and how he’s changing and how he’s moving on. He offers her the chance to come along and although she doesn’t, it won’t stop him. Much softer and slower track then it’s predecessors. ‘Eventually’ is another song about a break up and his hope that she will be ok eventually. Bit more living but I still wouldn’t regard it was a disco tune. ‘The Less I Know The Better’ gives us an 80’s sound, something along the lines of The Bee Gee’s. I love this one as it’s got that love/synth corny sound and it’s less serious than other tracks. However, I feel it’s a little overshadowed by the following track, ‘Past Life’. Parker’s robotic voice telling us a story with the synth raising and dropping significantly makes it infectious. Your ears will find it hard to keep up!
‘Disciples’ is another track released as a single and it’s groovy enough. This one I can imagine getting people moving on the floor. He says that he just went it the sound wherever it went and despite it sounding different from the rest of the record, kinda, he just let it happen. Now, onto the big one. ‘Cause I’m A Man’ is one of the most relatable songs I’ve come across in a long time. You can probably tell from the title what it’s about, and it’s sung in such a way that explains our mistakes from our perspective. We make boo-boo’s. With ‘Reality In Motion’ Parker also gives us dudes a song to fall back on, singing about our own doubts when chasing after a love interest. All about the moments leading up to that first move, being too sober, unprepared and too far gone to turn back. Been there my friend, been there. ‘Love/Paranoia’ is another soft track but the guitar work is brilliant in its simplicity. Once again however I find myself waiting for the next track, the massive ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’. You may know this one and if not go find it. So catchy, this one is more about the sound and the beat more so than vocals and lyrics. There’s a perfect blend of many instruments and the finger clicking is just awwww yeeeaaaahhh. There’s also a wacky enough outdo to the track.
So that’s that. I’m sure I’ve displayed my affection for this record over the course of the review and hopefully influenced you enough to go take your hard-earned cash and buy it. Or download it on Spotify. That free-ish.
Photo Credit: Genius.com