Showing posts with label tame impala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tame impala. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2015

video review: 'currents' by tame impala

Well, I can't imagine this review will go over well. Eh, those happen.

Next review coming in a bit, stay tuned!

album review: 'currents' by tame impala

So here's one of the frustrating things about being a music critic who still has a massive backlog - as much as I try, I can't cover everything within the course of a year, and you occasionally miss things or listen to albums out of chronological order. And on the one hand this can be rewarding as you can go back and listen to the classics and hear the musical elements that eventually became influential. But on the other hand, it also shows how some of said elements were further expanded or explored by other groups and you don't end up with the same appreciation of the 'original' article.

Want an example? I originally heard of Tame Impala back in 2012 when they showed up on the collaboration album The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, and of the many, many acts that showed up on that album, their contribution wasn't exactly one that stood out all that much and I consequently never really bothered to delve deeper into the group. So when I started getting requests to cover them this year, it was really my first time exploring them in-depth, and I was definitely excited to see what this critically beloved band could deliver...

And man, I was underwhelmed. I'm not saying Tame Impala or either of their first two albums are bad - as a fan of psychedelic rock, they're very listenable - but the hype behind the group baffled me. The instrumentation was sprawling and languid but rarely brought enough driving groove in the percussion, instead smearing over so many of the melodies and vocal lines with egregious electronic effects that often felt like they muffled some real texture. Yes, Lonerism was definitely an improvement, but not being in love with Kevin Parker's vocals or his lyrics, which could definitely tread into exasperating territory, even if it is intentional, I found it hard to really appreciate them as much as I wanted. And it didn't help that the more I listened through Lonerism, the more I just wanted to go back and listen to Sun Structures by Temples, which brought a much more groove-driven, memorable brand of psychedelia to the table.

But seemingly like every indie band these days, Kevin Parker decided to focus more on a synthpop, even disco-inspired approach for his newest release, shifting from more guitars to synthesizers. Which to me was a little concerning, as the noisier guitar elements were the piece I liked the most off of Tame Impala's first two releases. But hey, maybe it'll mean they'll focus more on giving the melodies more presence, so I checked out Currents - what did we get?