7/29 KUMD Album Reviews: Tame Impala
Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala have triumphantly returned to the limelight with their latest chart-topping release Currents, which has just secured the band’s first-ever spot in the UK top 10 charts. After their acclaimed Lonerism release, the band spent most of their time headlining festivals and rising to the top of indie and rock charts.
Currents builds off the heavy psychedelia that Lonerism is based around, and with that, exponentially sends your mind skyrocketing to another dimension with classic rock vibes and multiple layers of intense synth and drum beats. This combination spans several genres most listeners already know and love, systematically creating a type of music never before produced.
The album is a testament to apology and the realization of the mistakes one can make during a relationship. Frontman and lyricist Kevin Parker seems to be delving into an apologetic and apathetic realm of lyricism where all the lyrics contained in this album see a main character wishing they could recreate the past and be in tune with the fact that they cannot change who they are.
The album's lead single, intense power ballad “Let It Happen,” is a testament to just how experimental and different Tame Impala is in the grand spectrum of modern music. Clocking in at almost eight minutes this track definitely starts and leads the album into a whole different realm of psychedelic rock compared to the likes of our toking DeadHead/Pink Floyd ancestors. The track utilizes lush instrumentation juxtaposed to the sounds of CD skips to create one of the most unique melodies known to man and bounces around to create what sounds like three different songs in one. This track truly defies the generalized rule of song.
With a few filler tracks in between, “Eventually” becomes the next track of note, altering between happy and bouncy synths to hard hitting grungy guitar riffs. Kevin Parker’s voice in the foreground is the best aspect of the song, as he sings above and below registers that most artists are unable to hit.
“Cause I’m a Man” comes soon after as the next catchiest track of the album, with addicting guitar riffs paired carefully and perfectly with deep and heavy synths to make your speakers quiver, as Parker explains to his partner in the song that he cannot help nor change the things he does, simply because he is a man and a mere human. Tame Impala collectively feared a sexist backlash from fans about this song and made a preemptive statement about the true meaning of the tracks unique lyrics.
“Love/Paranoia” creates a warm R&B feeling in your soul, adding substance and a creative turn to the album.
The album closes with another long and powerful track, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” full of heavy synths and multiple vocal tracks layered over each other, yet not overwhelming what you hear or taking over the intricate instrumentation of the song.
Possibly the most accessible factor of this album is the unique ability to clearly understand the lyrics. In past albums, Tame Impala is notorious for featuring unintelligible words, but Currents feels like a new direction for the band, with much more feeling and emotion being conveyed through lyrics rather than just the music this time.
Tame Impala have really outdone themselves with this new masterpiece, putting together many different genres and creating vibes in a whole new manner. If this album details the future of their work, we can expect terrific things to come.
RIYL: Flaming Lips, Temples, POND Top Tracks: Let It Happen, Cause I’m a Man, New Person, Same Old Mistakes