If ever an album epitomised the change of direction in someone's life, Tame Impala's new album 'Currents' more than fits the bill, as the new record will surely have some fans wondering where the original sound has gone.
If you are searching for the psychedelic-indie-rock of their first two albums you may be disappointed, however those willing to embrace someone's new journey, walk of life and sound, you will be pleased.
Kevin Parker, aka Mr Tame Impala himself, has composed a new album that touches on all the new things in his life, and they are fairly evident throughout; a recent friendship with Mark Ronson, who brought out the Aussie for some big hits at Glastonbury, does seemed to have rubbed off on him, and, most notably, the break-up with his girlfriend as this unconventionally tells the story of him terminating the relationship.
The album itself is a grower and very beautiful, though it will no doubt draw many, many comparisons with Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories'. It's an amalgamation of neo-Ronson and Daft Punk, with delicate touches of analog synths, beautiful melodies and the soft, occasionally high-pitched voice of Mr Parker singing throughout.
The first few tracks really introduce us to the heartbreak story, opening with an eight minute groove laced with retro-analogue-disco synth which ultimately resembles Daft Punk, though it's unfair to keep tarring him with that brush. The guitars are all but gone, and the use of a loop sounding like a record skipping is brilliant, mixing out into true disco funk - which is even better. It's a technique he uses again late on in the album and it's an opening track that purely sets the tone of what's to come.
Parker is known for writing catchy guitar riffs and 'The Moment', though very soft and psychedelic, is the closest thing to that, though I doubt it will please the fans looking for the same sound.
By the time you reach the middle of the album, you more than understand Parker's talent for writing music, as well as the lyrics that tell the story of his aforementioned split from his girlfriend. "I know I always said that I could never hurt you/ this is the very very last time I'm ever going to" and a chorus singing "And I know that I'll be happier/ and I know you will be too" from the song 'Eventually' really sum the up the whole concept of the album and the message Parker is trying to convey.
'Past life' has a narration style opening that again is similar to Daft Punk's with Nile Rodgers in 'Giorgio By Moroder', though the comparison almost stops there. The rest of the song follows his use of vintage analog sounds that is so soothing to listen to.
'The Less I Know The Better' and 'Disciples' are far more upbeat and disco like, whilst 'Cause I'm A Man' is the first single released from the album and, in contrast, slows it all back down being melodic and tranquil.
Though some fans may fear the worst in this new sudden direction, Parker has done nothing more than eloquently indicate that he is a man that possesses sheer musical ability and most definitely shouldn't be pigeonholing himself. He has branched out, taken a risk and it has paid off. A beautiful album that is very easy on the ear.
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