After waiting five years, we finally can listen to a Tame Impala album other than “Currents”or “Lonerism” on repeat. Kevin Parker, the creative mind behind Tame Impala, kept us all in suspense for way too long for this album release, so I would have been incredibly disappointed if it was lackluster.
Thankfully, Parker delivered a smooth, airy, and philosophical 57 minute listening experience. After listening to it the first time, I felt like someone took Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” and said, “Hey this painting is cool, but it would be better in album form.”
“The Slow Rush” is without a doubt a solid album that showcases a more grown up, mature and introspective artist, pondering how life will change as he grows older. Where “Currents” delivered jams that exude carpe diem, ”The Slow Rush” is more let’s reflect.
It’s hard not to feel a bit like you’re floating when listening to ”The Slow Rush,” with Parker’s drifty voice hardly rising above the sound of synthesizers at points. The form of the music matches the ideas portrayed in the album really well. Each song explores the intersection of the past, present and future in a way that causes the listener to ponder their memories, current emotions and hopes for the future simultaneously. It’s as though the borderline between the past, present and future has been knocked down in this album.
The theme of a monotonous, repetitive life is strong. The opening song talks about how “We’re on a roller coaster stuck on its loop-de-loop” and references to Groundhog Day are sprinkled in the later songs for good measure. Going through the motions and living a square, unoriginal life are fears that resonate with us all, and something that Parker seems to portray as he gets older and considers his relevance, especially in the final song, “One More Hour.”
The album reeks of nostalgia at first, but the self-awareness and hopeful nature of most of the songs keeps them from falling into the same category as a lot of sappy, overdone melodies about growing up.The album definitely isn’t a “downer,” about aging. Instead, it cries for us to all take a step back, slow down and not blindly hurry on with our lives.
I think the verdict of most Tame Impala fans is that the album is a great one, but not revolutionary. Have I already listened to it at least 20 times? Absolutely. Will I still turn my speakers way up when “Lost In Yesterday” comes on five years later the same way I still do when “Let it Happen” comes on? Probably not.