“I’m gonna try to make it a bit more minimal this time; only use what’s needed. Instead of a supreme pizza, where you just throw everything on.” In the lead up to the release of Currents, Kevin Parker, the band’s front man, and the man responsible for most of the studio recording, mixing, and mastering, provided us with an interesting insight into what Tame Impala’s third studio album was going to taste like.“It’s kind of just gonna be like a margherita. I don’t want to over-fill it,” he stated. Over a year has passed since then, but Currents is finally out of the oven.
The album takes a different creative direction to the previous releases, and it seems to be driven by emotion rather than musicianship. Parker’s well publicised love of pop music and his tendency to feature certain aspects of the genre in his work seems to be progressively increasing after each album, and guitars are slowly but surely being replaced by electronic keyboards. Parker’s catchy pop hooks are making a return after featuring in so many of the tracks of Lonerism, but this album is somewhat of a genre mashing masterpiece.
Following up any album of the year was always going to be tough, but Currents has taken such a different direction, that it has almost become incomparable. Tracks like Disciples and Let it Happen remind us of where Tame Impala have come from, and what they are capable of, but the album as a whole is journey into psych-disco-pop bliss that i feel may never be emulated again.
Holding onto Parker’s extended pizza metaphor, its easy to see that Currents its more of an authentic Italian experience than something from the freezer aisle. The evident penchant for synthesizers over guitars is a direction that may not be well received by people baying for Elephant-esque Tame Impala, but an artist of Kevin Parker’s caliber can’t be expected to churn out more of the same just because it worked.