Tame Impala
Currents B-Sides and Remixes


3.5
great

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (55 Reviews)
February 28th, 2018 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There's a reason they're called 'b-sides'

In seven years’ time, Tame Impala/Kevin Parker has released three cohesive, adventurous, and downright great psych-rock based studio albums. Their debut, Innerspeaker, found Parker messing with feedback and prog-based guitar explorations based off of late 60s and early 70s psychedelia. Lonerism took what its predecessor did and perfected the art even more, taking the rough edges of Innerspeaker and shaping it into cleaner, dreamier, and more polished excursions to get lost in. Tame’s third album, Currents, flipped the switch, with Parker messing more with poppy synthesizers and beats to playfully interact with the guitar, instead of the guitar taking the lead. Both Innerspeaker and Lonerism revolved around pop tropes but only dove into the real deep end on a few occasions, while the songs on Currents are clearly pop songs plainly hiding underneath decades of influence ranging from Krautrock to Bee Gees to Daft Punk. It could be said that Currents was perhaps more adventurous in spirit than in actual scope, but it remains important because it represented the moment when Parker went from being this generation’s most prominent psych-rock guru to being a master in the art of pop production. The fact that Parker made this transformation shouldn't come as much of a surprise, since he is known for being meticulous in his productions, leaving nothing to chance or interpretation. Like the best music producers and arrangers, everything in his work is done (or not done) for a reason, which is why it’s clear that the b-sides to Currents, released more than two years as a standalone release, remained b-sides instead of being chosen for inclusion on the album.

There are five songs on this extension of Currents, three of which are new studio tracks, while the other two are remixes of tracks from the album. Out of the studio tracks, it is the first – “List of People (To Try and Forget About)” - that is the strongest, with the highlight being Parker stacking his words rhythmically in time to the driving beat. It’s by no means a perfect track though: no one besides Parker himself may know why he decided to interrupt the groove with an irritating “BEEP” instead of a more thoughtful breakdown or transition, or why there needed to be an unexciting and drawn out (nearly minute and half long!) outro. “Powerlines,” an instrumental, is another instance of a good idea being extended a little too much, starting off strong riding a fuzzy bass and vocoder shrouded vocal line, but it ends in much of the same place it started. The final new track we get on this release, the slow burning, brooding “Taxi’s Here” is another certifiably solid, but not extraordinary song, remaining at its peak when thought of as a very good b-side and nothing more. The two remixes – the first being an unnecessary and messy GUM remix of the most Lonerism-like track on Currents, “Reality in Motion,” and the second being the previously released “Let It Happen – Soulwax Remix” which takes a new, fresh perspective on the original without losing its feel. Any fan of Tame Impala, the production style of Kevin Parker, or modern psychedelic rock in general will enjoy this release as a continuation of the same themes on Currents. More than likely though, the enjoyment will only be for a brief amount of time - simply because the rest of Tame Impala’s discography remains head and shoulders above any of the mixed bag of songs on here.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
February 28th 2018


55050 Comments


I thought the b-sides were excellent, but I could live without the remixes

Digging: The Chemical Brothers - No Geography

ZackSh33
February 28th 2018


681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can an admin delete this review and associated LP listing with it? Sorry for the trouble but it was completely unintentional.

theBoneyKing
February 28th 2018


16319 Comments


It’s not the servers man, it’s because there’s an ampersand in the title. This always happens.

ZackSh33
February 28th 2018


681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, crap. Can someone move my review to the proper album then?

theBoneyKing
February 28th 2018


16319 Comments


I requested it in the meds thread, should get fixed. It's not your fault, people just need to learn not to put ampersands in album/band names.

zakalwe
February 28th 2018


27030 Comments


Boney is officially the coolest fucker on the sput block.

ZackSh33
February 28th 2018


681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You da best Boney!

twlichty
February 28th 2018


3963 Comments


Innerspeaker is still king

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2018


24516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ayy good review for a rly hot set of bsides

MrSirLordGentleman
February 28th 2018


12399 Comments


"I requested it in the meds thread, should get fixed. It's not your fault, people just need to learn not to put ampersands in album/band names."

Hahaha this site sucks

ZackSh33
February 28th 2018


681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Con!



Hahaha this site sucks [2] and yet we keep coming back...



For anyone reading this, I'd highly recommend a band called Blac Rabbit. Just released an EP, has massive Innerspeaker and Lonerism vibes, worth a listen.

BigPleb
March 1st 2018


57836 Comments


List of People is one of their best songs.

oneups
March 1st 2018


85 Comments


Innerspeaker is still king [2]


Seriously though, Currents is nice and all but it doesn't hold a torch to their older stuff in my opinion. Still a fine listen though.


brandontaylor
March 1st 2018


792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

waited a long time for this and it was pretty unremarkable compared to any of the a-sides. im in the minority that sees currents as their best work and i cant wait for their next full-length if its in the same style

tef
March 1st 2018


197 Comments


good review!

tombits
March 2nd 2018


3544 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Didn't really like the album much, but the B-sides are absolutely atrocious. Unforgivable stuff.

zoso33
March 2nd 2018


451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks Zack this Blac Rabbit Ep is pretty sick

ZackSh33
March 2nd 2018


681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@tombits - do you like Tame at all or is it just a case of the album being not your cup of tea?



@zoso - right?!? glad you checked it out!

tombits
March 2nd 2018


3544 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Massive fan of Innerspeaker and Lonerism, and I felt shafted by the stylistic change on Currents but couldn't deny the solid songwriting. This rerelease is such an obvious cash cow, particularly in light of how shit the remixes and b-sides are.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2018


15175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This are great Wtf

Powerlines is better than 80% of the album



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