Review: Tame Impala- Currents

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By Alex Sambrook- Comment Editor

Many moons ago when the summers were long and everybody was on drugs, psychedelic music had its place. Fully grown men could frolic barefoot in tie-dye t-shirts listening to long, meandering Pink Floyd songs and everything was fine, just fine.

Unfortunately however, everyone had a massive come down and the 80s happened, so it was fair to assume psych music was dead.

That was the case until an Aussie bloke called Kevin Parker dragged it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Under the guise of Tame Impala, Parker awakened psychedelia from its acid-induced slumber with the release of the critically acclaimed Innerspeaker in 2010. This was followed by the even more successful Lonerism in 2012 – a record that really pricked the ears of the world after the lead single, Elephant, was featured on a Blackberry advert.

This brings us to present day and the release of Currents. Whilst Tame Impala are still unapologetically a psych band, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to describe this latest release as a pop record.

Tracks such as ‘Cause I’m a Man and Eventually carry carefully crafted melodies over drums that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Drake song, whilst Yes I’m Changing features glorious, soaring 80s synth sounds.

The record is a sun-drenched, hi-fi masterpiece that truly feels like Parker’s seminal work. Critics might point towards the poppy aspects of the album as evidence that he’s sold out to the mainstream – something that would have Syd Barrett turning in his grave.

The truth however, is that with Currents Tame Impala really feels like it’s grown into the animal that Parker intended it to be from the outset. Graceful, fuzzy and unapologetically melodic it’s a record that squares up to modern day chart music and challenges it to make the next move.

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