More than four years since his last album release, Tame Impala released “The Slow Rush” on Feb. 14, unraveling Tame’s concept of time, nostalgia and risk-taking.
Tame Impala, born Kevin Parker, is known for his use of lush orchestration, captivating vocals and interesting song structure. “The Slow Rush” is nothing short of that, introducing new themes of honesty and insecurity.
Transic and slow-building, “One More Year,” the album’s first track, naturally transitions between honest lyrics and sonic production, making a cloud-like environment that I instantly became obsessed with. The lyrics, “We’re on a rollercoaster stuck on its loop-de-loop,” describe the feeling perfectly.
Opening with strong vocals from Parker, “Instant Destiny,” the album’s second track, felt more lyrically driven than “One More Year.” Towards the end of the track, the song’s electric production picked up, leaving the best for last.
Revised, “Borderline,” the album’s first single and third track, shaves 30 seconds off the original single’s duration, initially released April 2019. This revision incorporates harder-hitting drums and a heavier bass line that I think elevates the overall feel.
“Posthumous Forgiveness,” the album’s fourth track, immediately feels more raw and honest than the tracks before it. Using groovy acoustics, the track’s tone reminds me of Parker’s first album, “Innerspeaker,” released in 2010. Parker opens up and speaks on his deceased father who passed in 2009, “Ever since I was a small boy // No one else compared to you, no way.”
Intertwining quirky synths, house beats and bright piano with Parker’s dreamy vocals, “Breathe Deeper,” considers stressful situations and ways to calm down. I fell in love with the depth Dave Cooley, the mastering engineer, put into the production of this track.
The album takes a turn with “Tomorrow’s Dust,” which creates an overall acoustic vibe, allowing for easy-listening to enjoy Parker’s vocals. The lyrics, “I was blind by a memory // Like it’s someone else, like it wasn’t me,” focus on nostalgia and how it can be detrimental to growth, something that really hits home.
“On Track,” the album’s seventh track, layers heavy piano with both strong and delicate synths. Parker uses lyrics to describe the windy path many take in finding themselves, “But strictly speaking, I’m still on track // And all of my dreams are still in sight.”
Groovy and upbeat, “Lost in Yesterday,” the album’s eighth track and fourth single, originally released Jan. 7, 2020, encourages listeners to let go. Parker takes a different approach to nostalgia in lyrics like, “Eventually, terrible memories turn into great ones // So if they call you, embrace them // If they hold you, erase them,” encouraging me to let go of the memories holding me back.
Leading with a strong bass line and catchy piano progression, “Is It True,” touches on young love and the risk taken with it. I fell in love with the lyrics, “And I tell her I’m in love with her // But how can I know that I’ll always be?” This track depicts the sad truth many find falling in love at a young age, while keeping an upbeat positive rhythm. This song reminds how although the future is uncertain, it’s important to enjoy right now.
Leaked two days before its official release, “It Might Be Time,” the album’s tenth track and second single, originally released Oct. 28, 2019, plays with distorted melodies and all-encapsulating drums. This track describes the struggle to find confidence in times of insecurity, “It might be time to face it // You ain’t as fun as you used to be.” I enjoyed Parker’s honesty in this track, as it seemed to sum up his hesitance in starting music again after Currents, his third studio-album and launch into mainstream music
Shortest in length on the album at just over two minutes, “Glimmer” feels playful and young against house-like synths. Although short, this track’s upbeat and happy rhythm made it an instant favorite.
Epic in overall sound, “One More Hour,” the album’s final track, relates back to the theme of time while incorporating lots of electric guitar. The track delicately builds in it’s production, leading to a powerful hook. Parker glorifies alone time and its importance in self reflection, “As long as I can, long as I can // Spend some time alone.”
Overall, I fell in love with the melodies, synths and message of this album. “The Slow Rush” equally compares - if not surpasses - Parker’s previous projects. With upcoming shows set for March 9, I’m curious to see the stage design for this project. Kevin Parker knows exactly how to put his listeners in a trance, creating the perfect environment to slip into your thoughts and imagination.