Tame Impala: Currents

Aussie psych lord goes pop.

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‘I feel like a brand new person,’ Kevin Parker sings on New Person, Same Old Mistakes. As implied by other songs like Past Life and Yes, I’m Changing, transformation is a recurring lyrical motif on this third album as Tame Impala.

More crucially perhaps, the theme also extends to the music. Gone, for the most part at least, are the big riffs and blissful psych-rock jams that made both Innerspeaker (2010) and 2012’s Lonerism so memorable.

Instead, they’ve been usurped by glossier confections that recall 70s Sly Stone, 80s Prince, and everything from Supertramp-ish soft-rock to the kind of synthetic funk-soul that Beck brought to the table with Midnite Vultures.

With Parker’s voice haloed in reverb, some of it sounds great, especially eight-minute epic Let It Happen and the gorgeous ’Cause I’m A Man. But quite what his regular audience will make of this change in direction is another matter entirely./o:p

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.