Album review: Tame Impala

Tame Impala - Currents (Caroline International/Fiction)

Tame Impala's Kevin Parker.

Tame Impala's Kevin Parker.

WITH SONG titles like 'Yes I'm Changing', 'Love Paranoia', and 'New Person, Same Old Mistakes', you know you are in for a break-up album, but the theme is appropriate as a change in the life of Kevin Parker - who is Tame Impala, no matter how many other people are on stage - reflects a change in his music.

The Australian's first three albums, particularly 2012's excellent Lonerism, were full-on psychedelic pop, all John Lennon vocals, T Rex rhythms, and spacey Rick Wright keyboards. For Currents though, Parker has ditched the tie-dye hangings and patchouli oil and strutted straight to the discotheque. He has also largely abandoned the guitar, a move symbolically realised on the short, sharp 'Disciples', where the track fades out just as the guitar licks get going.

Parker is still psychedelic, but it is a psychedelica closer to the colourful disco-funk excursions of Daft Punk than his previous The Beatles/Pink Floyd infatuation, but Currents is a triumph, as his pop smarts, melodic sense, and ability to knock out a winning chorus are as strong, perhaps stronger than, ever.

'The Moment' is wonderful indie-pop that positively swings while 'The Less I Know The Better', under-pinned by a strong funk riff (another rare outing for the guitar on a synth soaked album ) deliberately and with knowing irony, quotes the chorus of The Love Affair's 'Everlasting Love' in its own chorus.

These are just a warm-up for Currents towering achievements. ''Cause I'm A Man' is the album's pivotal song, musically and lyrically, boasting a glorious chorus, and is good enough to be worthy of Prince in his prime, while the stunning dreampop of 'Reality In Motion', with its sublime melody, comes very close to that standard.

Currents is not just a break from what Parker has done in the past, it is the album where he properly transcends his influences.



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