Taking the top spot among The Edge’s Albums of the Year is the third studio album from psychedelic rock outfit Tame Impala, Currents. It follows 2012’s Lonerism, an album stapled by the pounding presence of ‘Elephant’. (Almost) gone are the brooding, introspective days of 2010’s Innerspeaker, and in their place? According to frontman Kevin Parker, music to get people dancing to.
Opener ‘Let It Happen’ soars into life, layering warbling synths with a racing, catchy tempo. Parker’s waining vocals are ever-present, something that has welcomed criticism from critics, but Tame Impala plunge us into enough depth with their layering of electronics that this no longer matters. The album invites you to utterly immerse yourself in it, allowing yourself to be carried along by its currents and undulations. It’s not the psychedelia-turned-disco album some expected, or noted, but it is definitely more upbeat that the band’s previous repertoire. It still has its broodiness, ‘Yes I’m Changing’ professes “there’s nothing left that I can do / so don’t get blue” in true Tame Impala downbeat style, but there’s something more lifting about the album which shines in tracks like ‘The Less I Know The Better’. The rhythm is punchy, the video weird and wonderful (featuring pastel colours and a gorilla love triangle) and it epitomises the brave detour the band have taken from their more established sound.
One of the best elements of it, too, is the admittance of the fragility of the male persona in ‘Cause I’m A Man’.
By no means is it a perfect album, but it is a great one. That is why it is The Edge‘s Number 1 Album of the Year.
Currents was released on 17th July via Interscope.