Music, Venue

Tame Impala – The Slow Rush review

Well, it’s finally here. It’s been five years since Kevin Parker’s critically-acclaimed album Currents, but The Slow Rush definitely made the wait worth it. A cosmic tapestry of psych-infused grooves, the album was quite worth the wait.

I listened to the album at midnight on release day, wrapped up in my darkened bedroom. I felt as if my soul was leaving my body. Now that I’m back, I have this to say about the album.

It begins reservedly, with ‘One More Year’ and ‘Instant Destiny’being mellow, but groovy tunes. The former begins with a slow interesting sound before drums and bass arrive to lift the piece. The latter of the pair uses interesting synth patterns, especially nearer the end, with a section that reminds me of Pink Floyd’s Any Colour You Like. These grew on me after my first listen, and now I see them as essential, especially for a front-to-back listening, as the songs gradually increase in intensity.

“Borderline” was released as a pre-album single; however, it has been remixed here. The production is tight and crisp, with the mastering a little louder than before. Personally, I prefer this version, as the bass is more pronounced and consistent. However, it is lacking Kevin’s moan at the beginning and that is a shame.

‘Posthumous Forgiveness’is a grand psychedelic journey, beginning with a recollection of Parker’s late father, and then post-breakdown, a forgiveness of the wrongs he committed. It’s powerful and emotional, and one of my favourites from the album.

Speaking of favourites, ‘Breathe Deeper’ is another. This 70s style track is funky and uplifting. The hooks are exceptional, and their transition too. There are also two beat shifts, switching to a more mellow instrumental with quiet vocals, creating the ultimate end to this wonderful composition. One noticeable weakness of this track is that the beat shifts do not have particularly interesting or effective transitions, as is the case in a few places in the album, which is a shame.

‘Tomorrow’s Dust’ is a powerful song with a solid structure that looks to the future, while ‘On Track’has a booming bass to situate you sonically and thematically in the present moment.

‘Lost in Yesterday’, ‘Is it True’, and ‘It Might Be Timeare three pop songs with effective hooks. I would say these are the weakest on the album structurally due to their simplicity; however, they still have powerful beats and depth, and continue the theme of time seen throughout the album.

Glimmeris the equivalent of GossiporDisciples’from Currents – an interlude, with a repetitive bassline; however, it fits in nicely here as it provides a natural break.

‘One More Hour’ is a lengthy epic that closes off the album perfectly. Each section plays a large role and builds to a grand crescendo with deep, introspective lyrics and the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar for what feels like the first time in a Tame Impala song.

Overall, I feel this album is the natural progression from Currents. I greatly enjoy itbut only time will tell how it is received by critics and fans, although I imagine it will be divisive.


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James Ward

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July 2022
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