THREE years since second album Lonerism not only added a new word to the English language but established Tame Impala as a musical force to be reckoned with, comes Currents: a follow-up in name only.
Mainman Kevin Parker’s colours are no longer nailed to the rock mast, with opener Let it Happen quite the statement of intent. Almost eight minutes of ever so slightly muted electronic disco, it’s closer to La Roux than My Bloody Valentine, and The Moment, Yes I’m Changing and Eventually suggest a drugged-up Pet Shop Boys collaborating with MGMT, with Brian Wilson at the mixing desk.
Much of Currents is pop from another world – not lacking in melody or invention but created in such a way that making a significant impact on the wider public consciousness is less unlikely than almost impossible.
Single ’Cause I’m a Man is a case in point. The closest thing here to an obvious hit, its production – with Parker’s beautiful falsetto mixed way down – mark it as an indie classic rather than a mainstream chart buster. The same goes for closer New Person, Same Old Mistakes, which could be 10cc 40 years on, with added finger clicks and marvellous rubbery bass.
Tame Impala fans won’t care – and why should they? – but it does seem a terrible shame that Currents’ magnificent pop will only find its way into a fraction of the homes successfully penetrated by, say, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. A great album, then, but also a wasted opportunity.
Like this? Try these: Air, Moon Safari; MGMT, Oracular Spectacular; La Roux, Trouble in Paradise
By Andrew Greenhalgh