The five-year wait is up for fans of Kevin Parker’s psych-pop outfit Tame Impala, “The Slow Rush,” serves as a brilliant continuation of the colorful pop aesthetics found in their previous album, “Currents.”
The new album explores lyrical themes and sonic territories, settling in a softer, more introspective body of work. The album was teased last year with the release of two singles, “Borderline” and “Patience” which were both played on Saturday Night Live after their release, receiving praise from both fans and critics. While the single “Patience” was omitted from the final product, “Borderline” underwent a serious update upon the release of “The Slow Rush.”
Parker’s musical vision continues to impress in “The Slow Rush,” with colorful instrumentals supporting layered, cascading vocals that create a dream-like atmosphere for the listener. Parker also mixes genres, bringing in disco, R&B, electronica and house influences within songs like the album opener “One More Year” and “Breathe Deeper.” Parker reaches back into the realm of Tame Impala’s sophomore album, “Lonerism,” with the upbeat pace of “Instant Destiny” and the dynamic energy of the closer “One More Hour.”
Through the entirety of “The Slow Rush,” Parker uses the theme of time and the limiting nature of life as a motif for this record. In Parker’s usual fashion, the lyrics balance both his positive and negative outlooks on his subject, making a triumphant call with “Instant Destiny” and retreating back into the subjects of regret and overindulgence in “Borderline.” The lyrics still remain universal, showing that Parker still has the ability to relate to the listener, even after his break into the commercial mainstream with the previous album.
The album features few meandering or repetitive tracks besides the album opening track, “One More Year,” which can feel over-extended in some sections. This is a minor issue, which is overshadowed by album highlights such as the optimistic “On Track,” the emotional two-part epic “Posthumous Forgiveness” and the somber pop single “Patience.”
With “The Slow Rush,” Parker still demonstrates both his perfectionist vision of musical craft and lyrical relatability to the audience, continuing the evolution of the Tame Impala sound.
The album is balanced between both upbeat grooves and slower ballads, representing the tug-of-war mentality from the previous Impala records.
It is clear that Parker still has fun with crafting songs, and creates an atmosphere for the listener to get lost in. To the listener, “The Slow Rush” shows no signs of Parker letting up on his standards established by preceding albums, making the five-year wait well worth it.