Tame Impala explores metamorphosis with “Currents”


Abi Shaki

“Currents” is the third album by Tame Impala, produced and written by Kevin Parker, the brains behind the music. The band’s past albums, “Innerspeaker” and “Lonerism,” catapulted Tame Impala onto the psychedelic/indie rock scene, resembling music such as Cream’s “Disraeli Gears.”

“Currents” is a shift from a usual kaleidoscopic funk sound to a more pop-like realm. The album’s message carries the same theme as “Lonerism,” but stronger than ever.

This is definitely an emotional album, allowing the listener to dive into the introspective music and mind of Kevin Parker.

Every song in “Currents” displays Parker’s abilities as a producer, songwriter and arranger, continuing his reputation for producing catchy guitar hooks like in past tracks Alter Ego and Feels Like I Only Go Backwards.

The album rids the presence of the guitar, sounding aesthetically different from past albums and proving that Parker is a cutting-edge songwriter and perhaps one of the most underrated bassists of the decade.

Parker’s ingenious use of the synths is colorfully displayed in the opening track Let it Happen, a dreamy eight minute dance number. “I heard about a whirlwind that’s coming ‘round/It’s gonna carry off all that isn’t bound/and when it happens, when it happens/So let it happen.” The song intrinsically incorporates two second repeated loops resembling an accidental skip, but Parker’s ability to incorporate controlled “mistakes” is where his true talent lies.

The following tracks, Nangs and The Moment, pull the listener deeper into a transcendent state of mind. Tame Impala’s past albums evoked Pink Floyd whereas “Currents” stands more in the vein of Daft Punk and Prince. It’s an album of change and progression through examining the past.

Tracks like Yes, I’m Changing portray Parker’s release from his old self. Statements like “They say people never change, but that’s bullshit, they do/Yes I’m changing, can’t stop it now/Even if I wanted I wouldn’t know how,” trigger intimate emotional magic anyone can relate too.

The theme of letting go of the past to accept transformation echoes in Reality in Motion, while Stigmatisms lie on the psychedelic aside. Overall, the album works to elevate the listener’s emotions to a higher transcendence, even if it’s only for a second – a transcendence Parker flawlessly creates with “Currents.”

Abi Shaki, Intern A&E Reporter