Psychedelic Rock | Electronica
Upon hearing that frontman Kevin Parker was planning on making a shift to dance music to make Tame Impala more club friendly, I was stood squarely with the masses of concerned fans. To be honest I’m not quite sure where Parker was coming from as currents is not an album for dancing and is by far the band’s least club friendly album. It turns out the main musical change was all but ditching the guitar for an array of keyboards and synthesizers. The soundscape the band creates is just as colourful and expansive as ever. It’s certainly a more restrained album although it still has it’s high points. ‘The Moment’ has a great groove, ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ has an unmistakeable nod to The Flaming Lips, and the guitar makes a joyous return on ‘The Less I Know The Better’.
In a way I wish the band had taken a bigger risk and went over the top as without the guitar in the foreground most of the album lacks an edge. With the guitar gone so is the warmth, and with the other instruments fading away behind the synths the album feels cold and clinical. It’s orchestrated madness, the passion and energy have been left behind and sadly Tame Impala seem tamer than ever. For the next album get the synths and guitars working in tandem rather than against each other and get some big, in-your-face hooks back into the equation. Thankfully the one department where the band never disappoints is the artwork. Currents is stunning to look at even if it occasionally falls a little flat whilst listening to it.