Album Review: Tame Impala's "The Slow Rush"

The long-awaited release of Tame Impala’s third studio album, The Slow Rush, has arrived—and we’re over the moon. The follow up to the 2015 release of Currents, this album offers 12 tracks that uniquely blend distinct acoustics with Australian frontman Kevin Richard Parker’s falsetto. Needless to say, Parker exudes musical excellence. Like the band’s previous four albums, he was responsible for recording and producing the songs himself, and what came of it was a masterpiece that will certainly mark a new wave for Tame Impala.
The opening song, “One More Year,” immediately reels the listener into a psychedelic reverie before Parker jumps in: “Do you remember we were standing here a year ago? / Our minds were racing and time went slow / If there was trouble in the world, we didn’t know.” This takes us into an objective worldview, which follows us throughout the duration of the album. There’s a certain message that calls for a push against limitations, for a reflection on the tenderness of life, love and the consequences of both.
The rest of the record is defined by the repeated pummel of drums, scattered piano chords, and quiet snippets where Kevin’s steady vocals carry us through moments of gloom and euphoria. “Instant Destiny” gives an uplifting, trance-like tone that describes the peak of Parker’s happiness: “We’ll be lovers until the end of time / I see it now / I see just how you’re so right / You’re so clear now.” Parker got married to his wife, Sophie Lawrence in February 2019, which explains much of the confidence in this song.
"Instant Destiny" by Tame Impala
In this album, it’s easy to get lost in the technicolor sound. It almost seems like a flowery gesture toward the actual lyricism, which deals with themes like solitude, self-isolation and the internal tug of time. There’s still beauty in the mixture of riffs and spunky musicality. Songs like “Breathe Deeper,” “Tomorrow’s Dust” and “Is It True” reflect these transcendent beats.
Posthumous Forgiveness” features a cool mix of experimental effects before transitioning into a mellow echo of Kevin’s voice reflecting on the death of his late father, who passed in 2009, and who he frequently cites as one of the major influences for his music. The first verse dives into a painful nostalgia: “Ever since I was a small boy / No one else compared to you, no way / I always thought heroes stayed close / Whenever troubled times arose.” Parker’s parents got divorced when he was a child, leading to a complicated relationship with his father that never received much closure. He expresses anger, grief, and ultimately, forgiveness toward the end: “I wanna say, “It’s all right,” / You’re just a man after all / And I know you have demons / I got some of my own.”
"Posthumous Forgiveness" by Tame Impala
Later, “Lost in Yesterday” lets go of this haunting past: “Does it help to get lost in yesterday? And you might’ve missed somethin’, don’t say / ‘Cause it has to be lost in yesterday / And you’re gonna have to let it go someday / You’ve diggin’ it up like Groundhog Day.” In the outro, Parker reminds us of the hold that nostalgia has in retaining and discarding bad memories: “And if it calls you, embrace it / If it holds you, erase it / Replace it.”
"Lost in Yesterday" by Tame Impala
Glimmer” gives us a melodic interlude with Parker’s voice periodically wafting in and out. It seamlessly transitions into the closing track, “One More Hour.” The song gives a nod to the linearity of time. It’s a somber farewell, one that lets go of a love that only pushes against the limits of time: “How could I love again? / How can I love this path for sure? / With no more time to spare / I know the answer more and more.” Though not final, it seems as if Parker reaches a steadier ground by the end of the album.
Moreover, the anticipation leading up to the release of The Slow Rush makes the wait more meaningful. This was truly an emotional journey. It’s a soundtrack brimming with an evolved identity for Tame Impala, one that will hopefully transform their live performances for the forthcoming tour as well. Anyone who gets to attend a show date will be incredibly lucky, and we can’t wait to see the extravaganza that comes out of each performance (especially with musicians like Clario and MGMT coming along!).
Tame Impala will be embarking on a 23-date trek across North America, running from late May to early August, including six additional dates in New Zealand and Australia. They’ll be accompanied by Clairo, MGMT, Khruangbin and Perfume Genius. The band will be playing at various indoor and outdoor arenas and amphitheaters. For more details on dates and locations, check out their website.
Check out Setlist.fm in the future for more info about their setlists, live debuts, and more!


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