Throughout the 2010s, Tame Impala, the psychedelic music project fronted by Australian musician Kevin Parker, is a band that seemed like something I would really be into, and yeah I was right. I listened to some songs of theirs, and I wholeheartedly say that their music is what I needed then because it is so chill and sets just the right vibe, although my discovery of them is from “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” from their 2012 album Lonerism. The version I heard was the collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, which is not bad, but it was on the Divergent soundtrack. Remember that last gasp of YA-based movies? Yeah, me neither.
Having taken a peak at their discography, they’ve made songs that caught my attention like “The Less I Know the Better”, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” (I even like the Rihanna version) and “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control” (and yes, that song is a mouthful). During their time off albums, they have made other contributions to artists like Mark Ronson, Kali Uchis, Kanye West and Travis Scott, but in 2019, they released the singles “Patience” and “Borderline” via first performing on SNL and some were hoping for an eventual album release, that being The Slow Rush.
It happened… just a few months later, having released 4 more singles before then, but “Patience” didn’t make the final cut. We pretty much heard almost half the album by then as the final track list is 12 tracks, so by now you’re wondering, how I feel about this album?
Well, here’s the thing: I do like the sound of this album. I always dig the psychedelic vibes I get from Tame Impala, as I would be grooving to the sound of it and instantly go back to some individual tracks. I’d probably go back for half of the songs here… the first 3 songs and the last 3 songs of the album to be exact, as the middle chunk of this is mainly background music that you wouldn’t mind hearing but you’re not going to remember or care much about.
“One More Year” begins the album with a reverberating groove of a vocal snippet of Kevin saying the title of the track but refers it as a Gregorian Robot Choir. “Instant Destiny” amps up the album in both instrumentation and content, with the lyrics being about Kevin’s proposal to his wife Sophie, leading to their eventual marriage.
I’m about to do something crazy, no more delayin’
No destiny is too far
Did you say, “And here comes forever”?
Oh, here forever, let go of me with open arms
It’s quite fitting given the album’s release was on Valentine’s Day. Of course, we have the single “Borderline” following that, but this is a reworked version of that song, and I noticed a few changes, that being it does end abruptly rather than fading out, from what I can recall. “Posthumous Forgiveness” reminds me a lot of spaghetti western scores with the acoustic guitar and the synths in the latter part of this song, setting up an amazing mood for them. The lyrics are about Kevin’s disdain for his father’s actions when he was alive, mainly due to the divorce of his parents and taking his sorrys to the grave, but that’s in the first section, and the latter is more reminiscing of the good times he had with him and wants his dad to be proud of him; the thought of that whole process is very somber while pondering the process of disappointment, death and remorse.
I will say for the middle chunk of the album: while I was still digging it somewhat, there weren’t as many highlights during tracks 5-9. They aren’t bad tracks (in fact, there was never a track I hated), but some of these easily blend into the background, especially with “Lost in Yesterday” and “Breathe Deeper”, the cuts that were released as singles earlier this year. However, it does end on a strong note with the remaining single “It Might Be Time” and the last two tracks “Glimmer” and “One More Hour.” First off, “Glimmer” just leaves me wanting more of this instrumental like a loop, and it’s the shortest one on the album. “One More Hour” is just the perfect way to end an album with the building piano melody, the guitar riffs, drums, and even a dazed vocal mix in there along with the theme of what things lead you to where you are now and what you have to look forward to in life.
Just a moment
Right before all the singing ends
Wasn’t brave enough to tell you
That there ain’t gonna be another chance
It’s not gone until (All that I have)
And everything’s still (One more hour)
Minutes erasing, whatever I’ve done
I did it for love (All that I have)
I did it for fun (One more hour)
Couldn’t get enough (All that I have)
I did it for fame (One more hour)
But never for money
Not for houses, not for her
Not for my future children
I’ll say that this album really does require a few listens after the first one as some might hate it right off the bat, but I’ve given this up to 5-6 full listens and I can honestly that this is a damn fine record. I’ll say that the first and last sections of the album got my attention more than some of the deep cuts in the middle chunk. However, if you came for Tame Impala for their usual business, then you will be pleased with this record. It’s a definite recommend.
FINAL VERDICT: Stream It. I’ll say that don’t RUSH into this and take it SLOW with this lush album.
The Slow Rush is available on Modular Recordings and is on CD, digital download, vinyl and streaming services.