by Anthony Nicolosi –
Since a very young age, I’ve always been into genres of music that my peers were not. For instance, in 2015 there were a myriad of songs being released from popular Pop/Rap artists that were released all year round’. While the radio was being flooded with new influences leaning more towards electronic music, I was listening to Tame Impala’s Currents. Tame Impala is a one-man show run by Kevin Parker hailing from Australia. During the recording process, Parker writes and plays every instrument that you hear featured in his entire discography. For live shows, he has a backing band to aid him.
Tame Impala are a psychedelic rock band that formed in 2007 and since then has released three albums that were critically acclaimed. The most recent release from Parker and co. is called Currents. This work is very reminiscent of past Impala material. Mid to high tempo beats and synth melodies accompanied by subdued drums, flashy bass work, and fuzzy guitars make up the meat of this album. Along with the instruments, Parker’s vocals are a perfect fit for the psychedelic rock genre. This is shown in no better place than the opener, “Let It Happen”. This track features spacey vocals and an assortment of production techniques that enhance Parker’s already impressive higher register.
Another track that grabs my attention is the slower, “Yes I’m Changing”. Instrumentally, the drums are steady and rhythmic and the twinkling synths are present throughout. Speaking of synths, there are plenty to be found on this album. Psychedelic rock is characterized by spacey guitars and trippy atmospherics; Impala has implemented both of those in spades.
Lyrically, this album has a host of subject matter ranging from change to accepting what life throws at you. One common theme is one of things looking up and there being a light at the end of the tunnel. Tame Impala created this album to appease fans of the band as well as bring in new listeners to the genre.
The one thing that bothers me about Currents is the wild inconsistency between tracks. Some songs such as “Let it Happen”, “The Less I Know The Better”, and “Love/Paranoia”, are great songs that grip the listener and keep them on the edge of their seat. On the other hand, there are a handful of tracks that completely fail to catch my attention due to a lack of tonal change. Some songs just sound like others. While this isn’t a bad thing (as most of the songs on here are at least catchy), it would be nice to have more songs that increase the amount of experimentation.
Currents is an album by a one-man band and for that, I applaud Kevin Parker. As an album in general, this piece is solid enough to keep fans of Impala and Psychedelic Rock happy. Whereas those looking for something a little different might want to look elsewhere.
Band Website: http://www.tameimpala.com/
MAAF BOX RATING:
MAAF BOX LISTENING PLEASURE: “Let It Happen”, “The Less I Know the Better”, “Disciples”, “Love/Paranoia”
Anthony Nicolosi is a freshman at USFSP, hailing from Fort Myers, FL, studying to be an English major. He is an avid listener of all genres of music and enjoys writing about music that he is passionate about.
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