Tame Impala’s third full-length album, Currents, is out later this month. Easily one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, the album has kept people talking for months and it’s not even out until the 17th.

Already we’ve heard snippets from the record, including singles like the divisive ”Cause I’m A Man’ and the sprawling, electric disco of ‘Let It Happen’, and now the first round of reviews have finally arrived, courtesy of NME and The Skinny.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, the takeaway from both of these reviews could be to expect the unexpected. Both reviews are pretty glowing, but it’s the way they describe an album that’s totally different from previous Tame Impala releases that has us buzzing.

Don’t Expect Another Lonerism

NME‘s review opens with a lengthy dissection about that whole myth of humans regularly replacing every cell in their bodies or whatever. It’s a roundabout way to illustrate the fact that Kevin Parker is a very different songwriter to the one who made the first two Tame Impala albums.

“[…] Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker is literally a different person from the guy who made the band’s self-titled debut EP in 2008,” they write. “And, tracing the quintet’s arc from the incendiary riff-rock of early releases to the paranoid fantasia of 2012’s Lonerism and this third studio album, that sounds entirely possible.”

“Change, and how to deal with it, lies at the heart of Currents.”

There’s More Synths Than Guitars

Tame Impala have been moving further and further away from guitars ever since they dropped their self-titled EP and there’s been murmurs that Currents is more of an electronic album than a rock one. Looks like that wasn’t just idle palaver.

“Once again, swooning synths are the order of the day, with the latter (key line: “There’s a world out there and it’s calling me/It’s calling you too”) especially a work of dazzling beauty; the layer-cake arrangement suggesting Parker as a natural heir to Brian Wilson’s studio wizardry,” NME writes.

There’s No Elephant In The Room

The EP and the debut had a fair share of bangers and Lonerism, while a much more chilled affair, had ‘Elephant’, which is like 10 bangers in one. Don’t expect the same to be true of Currents, Kevin’s just not feeling fuzz rock right now.

“We should probably bring up the elephant in the room, which is that, erm, there is no ‘Elephant’ in the room,” NME write. “Fuzzed-out guitars simply aren’t where Parker’s head is at now, which strikes us as a fair trade-off from a producer pushing at the outer reaches of his talent.”

One Of The Songs Is Like Led Zep Meets Aaliyah

No real commentary for this one, we just can’t freaking wait to hear it: “He brings it back on course with ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’, which sounds like Led Zep riffing on a vintage Aaliyah tune and tests the upper limits of Parker’s ethereal falsetto.”

Think Layers And Textures

“From the crisp, hip-hop accenting on the drums to the full-bodied bass and vivd synths, ‘Currents’ is an audiophile’s wet dream,” NME writes. We know what you’re thinking – how is that any different to any other Tame Impala album?

Indeed, the band’s music has always been characterised by dense layers and lush production, the combined effect of which act like a warm, fuzzy blanket for your ear drums. Well, Currents take things to the next level on all fronts.

We’ve Officially Reached Peak Tame Impala

We’ve established that Currents is different to everything Perth’s favourite sons have unleashed on us before, but that’s not to say it totally flips the script on its fans. It could just be the purest Tame Impala album yet, showing a band at its most ambitious and daring. Or as The Skinny write:

“The heady funk rhythms that propel that particular song permeate the record and resolutely form the basis of Currents, seeping into Tame Impala’s psychedelic forcefield and imbuing it with a stylistic gravitas that announces a band at the peak of its powers.”