Album du jour: Tame Impala, “Currents”


It’s way too nice a day to hate on any classical composers, as I did in my last outing.  Instead, music lovers, I’ve got some sunny pop for you today, in the form of a new album that practically screams “road trip!” But don’t feel left out, classical fans — there’s something for you at the end of this post.

“Currents” is the third full-length album by Tame Impala, the do-it-yourself project (at least in its studio incarnation; it tours as an ensemble) of Aussie Kevin Parker. With the audio playlist beckoning immediately below, extensive commentary from me would be superfluous. Suffice it to say, if you like soulful ’70’s pop melodies dressed up in reverberant washes of synths and keys over solid old school beats (from actual percussion instruments, hand claps, finger snaps and other natural ingredients!), this ought to tickle your fancy. Profound? Earth-shattering? Heavens, no. But it’s a heck of a lot more honest, more engaging, more healthy and just plain better than most music that attempts such qualities, only to fizzle disastrously, such as…well, I promised not to go there today.

Now, for you classical fans: Check out the first track, “Let It Happen,” starting at the beginning (no cheating and skipping ahead — I can see you!). Notice the somewhat ominous bass melody that starts at 4:04 in. Does it remind you of a similar melody from a semi-well-known symphonic poem, a melody that was also used as underscoring for one of the most celebrated old-time radio dramas?

You’ll hear the symphonic melody in question at 3:10 into the first of the two videos under the playlist, and the melody’s typical use in the old radio drama in the second video. Who said blogs aren’t educational?

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