Every record Kevin Parker releases has its own distinct voice and personality. ‘Currents’ - his third Tame Impala album - continues that trend with aplomb. While ‘Lonerism’ was uneasy and alienated, hiding its pop chops behind misty shower curtains of humid reverb, ‘Currents’ dives off into bold and optimistic new waters. The experimentalism is still everywhere - there’s a seven minute glam-opera-epic, ‘Let It Happen,’ for goodness sake - but instead of fighting the sensibility that fueled songs like ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ on previous albums, Parker seems to have finally accepted his pop core. It doesn’t so much improve Tame Impala’s sound as it steers the tension in new directions.
The giddying, rampaging brick walls of distortion have shrunk to picket-fences on ‘Currents,’ and in stark contrast to ‘Lonerism’ and ‘Innerspeaker,’ Tame Impala’s third album is their first that looks outwards. Kevin Parker has already proved he can ace introspective psychedelia - with ‘Currents’ he’s hopeful and acceptant instead. It might not hit with the sit-up-and-listen immediacy of previous albums, but make no mistake, ‘Currents’ is just as accomplished.