Following the five years since the last release, one had to wonder if Kevin Parker could manage to follow up Currents in a way that is true to him and the music that has come before. Miraculously, The Slow Rush is an album that fires on all cylinders and is an absolute blast.
To say that Tame Impala rise to fame was one of the largest surprises of the 2010’s may just be the understatement of the decade. In the span of five years, the world was treated to a promising debut, a gorgeous psychedelic rock portrait, and a disco infused pop darling, Kevin Parker became not only a household name, but a sought after producer working with the likes of Lady Gaga, and others.
When “Currents” became the massive success it became, fans were eager to hear more of what Kevin Parker could deliver. However, longtime followers will know just how much of a perfectionist Parker can be. Every bell and whistle needs to be perfect with no room for error. This can be seen as the album version of “Borderline” differs greatly from the single released a year ago. Every song has meaning behind every pitch to every corner of sound. With beautiful synths, grooving guitars, and tight drums, the album is filled with a bright optimism that feels familiar, but nonetheless new.
“One More Year” features a distorted voice trying to bargain for one more year to complete this craft while the album closer, “One More Hour” sees Parker pleading for more time to finish his work as he doesn’t work on his craft for money or fame. Instead Parker works as a perfectionist because this is what he loves. Which such reflection and care going into the instrumentation of the album, so goes the lyrics as Kevin Parker hesitantly looks to the future while questioning his legacy.
“Tomorrow’s Dust” sees Parker realize that while he is in the limelight, he may fade into obscurity with the line “the air of today is tomorrow’s dust.” “Lost in Yesterday” is a dive into nostalgia that beckons the listener to leave darker times in the past. Kevin Parker’s attention to detail and perfectionist attitude towards his craft has always been the light on Tame Impala records.
Where The Slow Rush could have collapsed on itself due to the incredibly high expectations, it soars due to terrific production, inspired instruments, and some of Kevin Parker’s most terrific lyrics. This an album truly worth the five year wait and deserving of a spot on the inevitable album of the year lists when the time comes.
By Caleb Ortiz