in Review

Tame Impala – Currents

Remember that song and/or artist that you just couldn’t escape in 2015?  I have to assume that the fracturing state of music nowadays made it unique to whatever your personal tastes happens to be (though the reemergence of Adele was one that most people could share).  But for me this artist was Tame Impala, and the song could have been a lot of cuts off of Currents, but the one I feel like I ended up hearing the most was “Let It Happen”.  And at first my reaction to this song was a little like “Ok, a little synthy for my tastes.  But it’s got a nice groove and it’s catchy,” which eventually turned to “I guess I like this?” which turned to “I don’t know if I like this anymore,” and at this point is more like “I could probably do without this song and this band, but whatever”.

It’s the kind of full-circle reaction that could also be applied to Tame Impala as a band, as I liked their first album (though not overwhelmingly), then eventually succumbed to their spacey psyched-out sound with 2012’s Lonerism (which made my top ten that year).  But I don’t know if it’s due to Tame Impala’s status as one of the more universally liked indie rock bands right now, or more to the album’s slicked up sound, but I just couldn’t help but feel kind of indifferent over Currents.  Though I want to say it’s the latter reason, since I’d like to think that I’m beyond getting bored with a band just because their popularity transcends whatever bullshit indie rock snobbery my tastes seem to inhabit.  After all, I had a really good time with that Alabama Shakes album that came out this year.

So I’ll just blame it on the docile nature of a lot of these songs.  Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker has one of those pleasant voices that has the capability to carry a tune that gets irreversibly stuck in your god damn head for days.  But at the same time, it can sometimes be a little too soothing to hold your attention for terribly long if the song isn’t as great as his pleasant voice seems to be convincing you that it is.  And because a lot of the songs here had that effect on me, more than any other album from 2015, this was the one I’d end up listening to the first half of before getting bored and listening to something else.  Which is totally fine for Tame Impala.  They don’t need my fandom.  They’ve got a large chunk of the indie and mainstream rock music audience by the ears, while their critical standing is about as bulletproof as any band out there.  And I say more power to ’em.  It’s just that I probably won’t be listening to whatever beloved album they got coming up next.

Favorite Tracks: “Eventually”, “The Less I Know The Better”, “Disciples”