Tame Impala’s new album Currents was one of my personal Most Anticipated Albums of the Year. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away – I’m a fan of Tame Impala, and I’m familiar with their signature sound. However, as the album took my hand and led me away, I fell deeper and deeper into that type of coma only induced by rock-your-socks-off music. Currents is the musical equivalent of that film which succeeds at the indie film festivals and then blows up later when the rest of the general public catches on. It is textbook hipster, but in the best possible way.
The album opens with Let It Happen; surely a request for the audience to sit back and enjoy the pilgrimage that Tame Impala wants to take us on. Even in the course of this monstrous eight-minute opener, we get a satisfying beginning, middle, and end all in one. Let It Happen is a musical deliverance from mainstream and straight into the hypnotic world that Currents inhabits. My inner 60’s flower child was bursting with happiness.
After Let It Happens comes to a wonderfully exhausting ending, it is followed by Nangs. I was enraptured at this point, having dreams of discovering Atlantis, as the bubbling beat washed over me like ocean tides. You can imagine my disappointment when it ended suddenly, as it is only about two minutes long. Despite being much too short, I hold to the belief that it truly showcases the brilliant, imaginative mind of Kevin Parker. (Sidenote: This is the first of Tame Impala’s albums that Parker has mixed. So if you were wondering why that particular element felt so synchronized and consistent, that’s why.)
Yes I’m Changing is poetic and hauntingly beautiful. Alongside Parker’s lovely falsetto tones, lines like “Curse indulgence and despise the fame / there is a world out there and it’s calling my name” completely shatter your sense of self. The overlaying of the sounds of a busy street add to the psychedelic reality of the connection with the rest of the world. This song makes you take a deep breath, and instantly want to hear it again.
However, as soon as Eventually crashes into my eardrums, all thoughts of listening to any other song dissipate. My body had a visceral reaction to this song; I wanted to turn the volume up until my eardrums were bleeding. I found myself moving without thinking, my eyes closed, and my soul craving more. Eventually is heart-stoppingly good. It is a modern marvel. The eighth wonder of the world. The album is worth buying for this song alone. The way that Parker has manipulated sound to flow in just the right way – I would be willing to call him one of the greatest musicians of the modern era.
Towards the end of the album, Reality In Motion serves as a sexy pick-up, danceable and catchy. But don’t be fooled by the head-bobbing goodness of the chorus, this song boasts a dark side that seems to come out of nowhere but is oh-so-good. But worry not: resisting the urge to dance to this tune is futile. Reality In Motion is one of the clear highlights of the album.
Too soon, the journey ends with New Person, Same Old Mistakes. Coming full circle, this song seems to mirror Let It Happen, and has the audience wondering if we ended up in the same place we began. As Parker sings “Feel like a brand new person”, I couldn’t help but agree with him. This album will surely be the life-changing album for a generation that is just now discovering bands like Tame Impala. I imagine, in ten or twenty years, a fleeting lyric will make someone stop and recall these songs to mind, reminiscing on the “good ol’ days”. My only complaint for this album is that it ended too soon. I have never experienced an album where the songs so competitively fought to be the standout. This album is near perfection. Overall verdict: Let me listen again.