Australian youngsters forming Tame Impala have finally launched their long-awaited follow-up album to their successful “Innerspeaker” and “Lonerlism” records. These opuses made them instant favorites of indie rock fans in their own country, then around the world as we discovered them. Their show at Osheaga in 2012 was one to remember. These kids just rocked their way into the thousands of brains that didn’t have any expectations in the middle of the afternoon.

Expectations. Now they are there. Well, “Currents” isn’t the same trip at all! The five guys from Tame Impala went a completely different direction. Right from the start, the groovy Let It Happen is way closer to trippy pop bands like Hot Chip or Ratatat. What a change from the Pink Floyd-ish stone rock mood that the band offered just 3 years ago! Keyboards – not guitars! – are in the forefront of the band’s sound now (The Moment), but leader Kevin Parker and the guys have not lost the trippy part. They still produce airy melodies that make your brain wonder (Nangs).

 

Now, the question that weighs. Is this new album good? Well, it’s a question of perspective. When compared to “Lonerism”’s indie rock, it feel way much lighter. Does lighter mean bad-er? Not necessarily. If you had never heard Tame Impala before, you’d applause their soft airy melodies that sound like Air Supply meeting Daft Punk (the apt-names Yes I’m Changing), and think that finally some cool dudes could make keyboard pop, à la Soft Cell.

But no one should forgive the over-use if the awful 80s keyboards we hear all over the album. The lack of guitars is a real shame for all the fans of the band. The song writing is also weaker. Maybe it wasn’t extraordinary on the previous albums, but we were mesmerized by the voyage they brought us on. Now, lyrics seem thin, especially on songs like Eventually.

Fans won’t recognize the Tame Impala they liked so much in 2012. Maybe it’s the influence of Parker’s other band, the disco funk trip of AAA Aardvark Getdown Services that influenced the whole group. Such a radical change makes us wonder. Was “Lonerism” a fluke? Why did they change so much? Can Tame Impala bounce back? Do they want to go back to the indie rock trip they were into?

We’ll see. For the moment, I’m out.

TAME IMPALA
Currents
(Modular/Interscope, 2015)

-Genre : indie pop
-On the same beat as Hot Chip, Beats for Beginners, Ratatat

Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the band’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.