AOTY 2020
Tame Impala - Currents
Critic Score
Based on 43 reviews
2015 Ratings: #38 / 914
Year End Rank: #7
User Score
2015 Ratings: #13
Liked by 90 people
Sign In to rate and review

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny

This third outing takes off with Let It Happen, a fanfare of driving drums and kaleidoscopic synths that is reassuringly Tame Impala of old, but as it gains altitude Currents soars to a new level of sophistication.

100
The Guardian
Like all great psychedelic music, it perfectly evokes a deeply weird altered state, albeit that of a head wrecked by grief rather than lysergic acid diethylamide.
100
NOW Magazine

It’s unabashedly pop-soul but still plenty psychedelic, thanks to band visionary Kevin Parker’s genius studio experimentation.

100
Spill Magazine

Currents may seem a bit off-putting to long-time Tame Impala fans with it shift from psych-rock to R&B but the more you listen to the album, the more it grows on you. It sneaks up on you and gets better with each listen.

94
Paste
This is a near-perfect album. It’s a superb progression from their last efforts, a study in internal consistency and just chock fucking full with nearly an hour of great songs.
93
Pitchfork

Nearly every proper song on Currents is a revelatory statement of Parker’s range and increasing expertise as a producer, arranger, songwriter, and vocalist while maintaining the essence of Tame Impala: Parker is just as irreverent working in soul and R&B as he is with psych-rock.

91
Consequence of Sound

Currents is all about the wide lens. It’s not the landscape worth falling in love with, but the way Parker gives us a tour. Let it happen, and it will carry you off somewhere much further away than you realized was worth visiting.

91
Entertainment Weekly
The crimson-and-clover sprawl of the band’s first two albums is still intact, but there’s a new kind of richness to frontman Kevin Parker’s lonely-astronaut experiments.
90
FasterLouder
It’ll be divisive for sure, and fans of Air or Moroder might find it less groundbreaking than trad-rock listeners, but it’s fucking rad on its own merits anyway.
90
Spin

The result is the purest — and most complex — distillation of everything that makes the band such a nearly physical pleasure to listen to, whether it’s the sprawling riffs found on their 2010 debut, Innerspeaker, or this album’s taffy-lurid swirls.

90
Clash
It's too early to say if 'Currents' will be the masterpiece that Kevin Parker is remembered for, but not too early to state that this is his best LP yet, a near-perfect album in a body of already remarkably impressive works.
90
The 405

It stands clear and apart from the past of Tame Impala, choosing to take a knife and separate in favour of moving forward. Moving is living and Currents gets that.

90
No Ripcord
Parker is a once-in-a-generation talent, and this album is conclusive evidence of it.
90
FLOOD Magazine

An album with such an emphasis on bricolage could have easily become lifeless, but Parker’s tweaks to the Tame Impala formula all grant Currents a deeper sense of humanity.

90
Louder Than War

It’s special in many ways. Not only has Kevin Parker taken Tame Impala into a new direction, he’s retained that raw psychedelic feel that made them so great, while adding in new elements that make ‘Currents’ feel like a truly unique album.

85
The Line of Best Fit

Currents makes a convincing case for facing the unknown. An album that's virtually crawling with strong, infectious melodies, it's likely to draw brand new prey to Tame Impala's territory.

85
Northern Transmissions

The constant cloudy-headed experimentation gets a little exhausting over the course of the album’s 13-track, 52-minute runtime, but the lyrics provide the lucid emotional core that keeps these spacey songs grounded.

85
Spectrum Culture

Hearing a band push itself beyond a sort of sonic stasis will nearly always be far more interesting than hearing retreads of past glories. Tame Impala seems well aware of this and more than willing to challenge its audience. And for that they should be applauded.

85
Earmilk

Currents as an album overall is fantastic. There are plenty of catchy grooves and lyrics which makes the entire album have high replay value. However, we can't help but feel that they played it a little too safe.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

No matter your proclivities for this new style, it’s hard to deny that Currents sounds fantastic. Parker isn’t using any new instruments here, he’s reappropriating instruments he has been using all along. Only this time, everything is curated cleanly.

83
A.V. Club

Currents won’t quite get to join the club of all-time great third albums, but it’s still an impressive effort. Once again, Kevin Parker has made an album that has little in common with its predecessor, yet sounds surprisingly sure-footed.

80
NME
From the crisp, hip-hop accenting on the drums to the full-bodied bass and vivd synths, ‘Currents’ is an audiophile’s wet dream.
80
Drowned in Sound
This is a record that demands your reflection and immersion, rather than just mindlessly wigging out. Whilst that may be disappointing to hear for some, it doesn’t take too much away from the latest stage of this 29-year-old’s fascinating career.
80
Exclaim!

While some fans may be disappointed that Tame Impala phased out the more straight-up rock aspect of their sound, they've maintained their dizzying psychedelia on Currents.

80
DIY

It might not hit with the sit-up-and-listen immediacy of previous albums, but make no mistake, ‘Currents’ is just as accomplished.

80
Under The Radar

The fuzz-guitar fans may find themselves a bit underserved here. Best to suck it up and embrace those drum sounds, which are as precise and exquisite as ever.

80
Slant Magazine

Although Currents is, in many ways, a showcase of difference, Parker also toys with repetition as a unifying theme, sonically and lyrically.

80
PopMatters

Rockist doubts aside, Tame Impala is very much present on Currents. Their acidic melodies may now be adorned with sparkling keyboards and heady dance drums—flavors fully outside the rock wheelhouse—but Parker’s aim is to unite the two sensibilities, not to remove the band from the rock formula altogether.

80
Uncut

The previously aggressive swirls and surges have abated, with Parker now filling the space with hazy, Gallic grooves that bear a distinct air of Air.

80
The Sydney Morning Herald

Currents pushes the Perth psych-rockers further into the electronic, its fascinatingly produced tracks balancing pure pop with odd ambience, while its lyrics (especially Eventually) trend break-up record. But the album is most fascinating when Parker grapples with the limits of change.

80
Record Collector
Despite the great weight of hype, Tame Impala have evolved into a satisfyingly altered form, both alien and humming.
80
Mixmag
On 'Currents', the pop and electronic quotient is turned up higher, without losing any of its predecessor's winsome, big-hearted aura.
70
Rolling Stone

The guitar rides in the back, the keyboards up front. The beats have a synthesized snap even when they're live drums, and even the dreamiest tracks pack a pop bounce.

70
musicOMH
It’s just a shame that the undeniable majesty of opener Let It Happen sees the album peak at a high it can never hope to reach for the remainder of its existence.
70
Crack Magazine

The shift in sonic palette – the displacement of sun-bleached, illusory fuzz for a cosmos of super-clean synthetic strings – reflects the real life changes he documents with simple lyricism. The album acts as an immaculately crafted apology for this change.

70
Classic Rock
With Parker’s voice haloed in reverb, some of it sounds great, especially eight-minute epic Let It Happen and the gorgeous ’Cause I’m A Man. But quite what his regular audience will make of this change in direction is another matter entirely.
60
Sputnikmusic

It’s reductive and doesn’t help really anyone by saying the hooks just aren’t there on the level they used to be, but it’s telling that I searched the rest of Currents in vain for anything as immediate as the crashing waterfall of multitracked vocals on the chorus to “The Moment.”

60
AllMusic

While Currents would have made a decent Kevin Parker solo album, people coming to the album and expecting to hear the Tame Impala they are used to will most likely end up quite disappointed.

60
God Is in the TV

Nonetheless, a genre detour is highly appropriate for a heartbreak album that has calculus at its heart and its commentary.

60
The Observer

While Parker’s home studio achievement is impressive ... the sonic unity here means the tracks bleed into one another. Currents details a painful rebirth, but you’d never guess as much.

40
Tiny Mix Tapes

The feeling of listening to Currents is the same as that of seeing a photo with the “Toaster” filter slapped over it for the 50th time.

40
The Arts Desk

Currents is an album that I want to like much more than I do. It’s not a disco album. Not even nearly. It’s also not that psychedelic. It’s basically an exercise in pop with occasional lush melodies, elaborate structuring and, at times, truly, extraordinarily, piss-awful lyrics.

BradTasteMusic
88
Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmLxqE1Jy_A

This album is sooooo water tight. For a concept, every single part just falls into place
Aoaystheory
97
“Currents” will go down as some of the finest sounding psychedelic pop to date and another defining moment for Tame Impala.
oh
90
To get me hyped for their new album, I decided to re-listen to Currents. And it was amazing. I remember my old review was "the songs could've been shorter" or something like that, and I think I said that for about every non-pop album I listened to in early 2019, because I didn't have a problem with the length of any of these songs once I re-listened to it. I honestly think some of the songs should've been longer. Let It Happen is such an amazing song. I sat here for about 20 minutes ... read more
WhatTheFunk
64
QUALITY IN YOUR REFRIGERATORS.

Dear viewers, here we are live from the kitchen of chef Kevin Parker, the young darling of international gastronomy, who has created melancholy and psychedelic dishes such as the exquisite "Lonerism", acclaimed by all the culinary critics. He is about to unveil his new dish... no, sorry... his new masterpiece!

Back to the past. The young Kevin Parker is best known for using high quality ingredients, lovingly drawn from the classic repertoire of ... read more
snarekickblues
85
I think the rule is: if you liked 'Cause I'm A Man, you'll like Currents. If you didn't like 'Cause I'm A Man, you'll hate Currents. And I liked 'Cause I'm A Man.

Best Tracks: Let It Happen, Nangs, Yes I'm Changing, Eventually, Disciples, 'Cause I'm A Man
Worst Track: Past Life
Purchasing Currents from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
Advertisement

Track List

  1. Let It Happen
  2. Nangs
  3. The Moment
  4. Yes I’m Changing
  5. Eventually
  6. Gossip
  7. The Less I Know the Better
  8. Past Life
  9. Disciples
  10. ‘Cause I’m A Man
  11. Reality In Motion
  12. Love/Paranoia
  13. New Person, Same Old Mistakes
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.
Advertisement


Added on: May 2, 2015