Album of the Week: Currents

Album of the Week: Currents

Maddox Wolfgram, Staff Writer

For the second official album of the week, I decided to go with Currents by Tame Impala. This is an album that I have completely fallen in love with over the past year. Released in 2015, Currents is a psychedelic pop/psychedelic rock album. Tame Impala is a one-man band ran by the extremely talented Kevin Parker. Kevin records and plays all instruments himself, but gets a group of his friends together to play live shows. Currents’ main theme travels through someone trying to rediscover themselves after a breakup.

The album immediately draws you in with the seven minute masterpiece, “Let It Happen.” It opens hard and upbeat, complete with a solid drum beat, bass, and electronics. The vocals for the entirety of the album are sung in a light, falsetto tone. As the middle of the song approaches, the song transitions unto an instrumental section. Throughout the progression of the section the instrumentals start to glitch. The best I can compare the sound to is a CD jumping after it gets scratched. The section reaches its climax when the instrumentals glitch for about 20 seconds before transitioning beautifully into the final act of the song. My favorite moment in the song is an iconic bass riff that comes after a small vocal section. Overall, this is one of my favorite songs of all time. It was also in my top 5 most listened to songs on Spotify last year.

Between most of the larger songs on Currents, Tame Impala added short and mostly instrumental songs. The first of these tracks is “Nangs.” It has a beautiful psychedelic opening, and it provides a nice breather after the hefty opening track.

The next song is “The Moment.” I feel this is one of the weaker songs on the album, but it still provides an enjoyable listening experience. I feel the song excels, especially in the bass riffs. It is once again very upbeat and contains plenty of psychedelic electronics. I interpret the lyrics of the song as someone trying not to live in the moment anymore and look forward towards a brighter future.

The next track, “Yes I’m Changing,” is another one of my favorites off the album. The song takes a more laid-back approach on the tempo and instruments, in favor of putting the focus on the message. Its lyrics are easy to understand, as it describes a man coming to accept that he and his ex-girlfriend don’t belong together anymore. It also talks of a man’s feelings and emotions changing into something more positive.

The fifth song, “Eventually,” opens with a hard drum/bass beat. The vocals have a very happy and hopeful tone. Lyrically, the song speaks of being cordial after breaking up and wishing a better future for each other. In my opinion, this song is a tad bit too long. It reaches almost 5 minutes in length and doesn’t try to change up very much. For the 6th song, Tame Impala went with another short, instrumental song called “Gossip.” It does its job well as a transition between longer tracks.

The next song is probably Tame Impala’s most famous. “The Less I Know The Better” features an iconic opening bass riff, followed by lyrics involving feelings of jealousy and hate after a breakup.

The eighth song, “Past Life,” is one of my favorites. It features extremely distorted background vocals, and extremely experimental electronics. I interpret the lyrics as talking of previous lovers, and how things might’ve worked out in a past life. The final transition song, “Disciples,” is my favorite short track on the album. The lyrics talk of looking towards future endeavors.

The tenth song, “‘Cause I’m A Man,” is my least favorite on the album. I can’t feel myself relating to the lyrics in any way. To me, they come off as preachy and pessimistic.

The album starts to pick up again with “Reality In Motion.” It starts off very upbeat and contains excellent instrumentals. I interpret the lyrics as someone who realizes all of the things they have the time to do fresh out of a relationship, but then slowly realizes they miss the companionship of another person.

The next song, “Love/Paranoia,” is absolutely beautiful. It speaks of how often a relationship/love can turn into paranoia. The flow of the vocals in this song always impress me upon re-listening.

The final song on the album, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” is my second favorite on the album. It was famously covered by Rihanna on her Anti album. It has lyrics that are simple to understand with incredible instrumentals. The drums and bass are simply perfection.

Overall, Currents is an incredible album. If I had to rate it, I would give it a 9/10. I would recommend it for anyone looking for psychedelic rock that’s a bit newer.