Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shifts gears a bit for his third album, drawing as much from ’80s soul and disco as he has from prog-rock and psychedelia. Though such a change could threaten to derail a good thing, Parker is the consummate perfectionist, and Currents’ various strands are braided together without a hair out of place. Opener “Let It Happen” builds from a proggish uphill chug into a psychedelic freakout and finally hits its stride with a silky disco beat. “Eventually” relies on rock dynamics but uses fat synthesizers to achieve its booming changes. And a tune like crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better” seems to marry all of Parker’s influences into a perfect amalgam, calling to mind everything from Michael Jackson to My Bloody Valentine. Through it all, Parker is the same chill knob-twiddler he’s always been, but he’s come out of his shell a bit more—it takes confidence to command a song like “’Cause I’m a Man,” which gloriously oozes ’70s cheese, akin to Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” or 10CC’s “I’m Not in Love.” From the get-go, Parker himself seems to be reflecting on the change—“Something’s trying to get out/And it’s never been closer,” he sings on “Let It Happen.” It’s confirmed by the time we get to “Yes I’m Changing,” ostensibly a breakup ballad but it seems more pointedly about an introvert accepting accidental stardom (“Curse indulgence and despise the fame/There’s a world out there and it's calling my name”). This lyrical theme, the sense that Parker is coming into his own as not only a songwriter and performer but human being, gives Currents a unity that even the superb Lonerism didn’t have. In every way, Currents is a complete triumph, both as a fascinating headphones album for production junkies and as a set of immaculate psych-pop songs that feels endlessly giving.
We’ve been dying to hear the new Tame Impala album, Currents, since hearing about its release in the Spring. The album is coming out this week, hitting stores Friday, July 17, and you can listen to the album now via NPR.
Our first impressions are very strong. It’s a synth-heavy affair compared with the band’s previous two albums, Lonerism and Innerspeaker, but still just as psychedelic, as songs like opener “Let It Happen,” which takes its time to move from a pensive, proggish uphill chug to a silky disco beat. While we’ve enjoyed singles “Eventually” and “’Cause I’m a Man,” the album’s other songs are proving just as strong, especially synth-soul ballad “Yes I’m Changing” and crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better.”
Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, but there are already many albums announced, including a few that are sure to be some of the biggest of the year.
Young soul singer Leon Bridges’s powerful voice and guitar licks have earned him comparisons to Sam Cooke and a viral hit with the sweetly swaying, vintage-R&B-style “Coming Home.” It’s one of those times when it looks like the hype is on point; Coming Home announces the arrival of a huge new talent.
Daft Punk’s return to form was one almost everyone could agree on, led by the indelible single “Get Lucky.”
QOTSA returned with a Queen-inspired prog-rock opus.
Amoeba.com has many of the bands playing at Coachella this weekend and next available digitally. Pick up some of the albums below before your drive out to the desert!