“Currents”: The Impressive Junior Album from Tame Impala

Ben Prasifka, Guest Contributor

It opens with a cacophony of noise and a distilled drum beat. Kevin Parker’s voice slowly comes in from the slew of impressively mastered audio, giving his listeners some advice, “Let It Happen,” which also happens to be the name of the song. This song sets the stage for the rest of the album, which stays true to the sound that Tame Impala listeners have grown to love and appreciate. In a musical world so heavily dominated with auto-tune and ghost writers, to have a group of artists so passionate about what they love to do is oddly refreshing. These songs do not try to be anything they are not. The group does not indulge itself in the grungy-Nirvana style guitar riffs, nor does it lend too much of it’s sound to lead singer Kevin Parker. Tame Impala is a new animal, and their album “Currents,” available on iTunes and Spotify, is a force to be reckoned with.

The album is nearly a masterpiece. Their past project, “Lonerism,” which came out in 2012, was well liked, and regarded as a stepping stone for the group. If “Lonerism” was a stepping stone, then “Currents” is the whole flight of stairs. The sound of this album works for nearly every situation that the listener could reasonably find themselves in. Driving in the car, slow dancing at prom, even providing ambient music for Thanksgiving dinner, Tame Impala has it all. Their sound is reminiscent of late sixties disco guitar, the highs and lows of each riff being magnified by the ambient bass and funky rhythms. This is an album that has something for everyone. The songs range from one to seven minutes, but all of the effort put into even the shortests songs on the

album is impressive. Each lyric seems meticulously placed, every twang of the airy electric guitar scrutinized and tweaked to work perfectly with the distant drums. “Disciples” foggy sound is quickly realized as a far away recording when the listener hears the snap of the disc as it is stopped in its player, and Parker’s voice shines through the enveloping guitar into a funky electric keyboard solo. It is a feel good song, probably my favorite on the album, that works best when you find yourself in a good mood. “The Less I Know The Better” is a charming look into the quietly interesting  life of an artist, surrounded by people who enjoy a man’s company as much as his abilities. They are always changing, but never deviating from the sound they create, a powerful presence that can resonate with radio listeners and hardcore fans alike.

Kevin Parker and his team are miracle workers, and “Currents” is their water into wine. The transition from underground disco funk group into multi-national phenomena is working well for them, and one can only wait anxiously to see what they will churn out next.

My Rating: 9 out of 10, the only take away being that the feel of the band can be off putting to those not familiar with their work.