Tame Impala’s “The Slow Rush” transcends modern music
“The Slow Rush” delivers on the reputation Tame Impala has built for itself. The man behind Tame Impala, Kevin Parker, has cemented himself as a leader of the indie, psychedelic rock wave of the 21st century.
While the album stays true to Tame Impala’s previous genre-crossing sounds, “The Slow Rush” reveals a more refined, evolved piece of art. There is a definitive sad nostalgia of sorts in the new album, which may turn away novice Tame Impala listeners. However, the resulting reward for those who continue listening is a trippy yet oddly familiar journey across time and space.
The theme of the album is emphatically established in the first song, “One More Year.” Choppy, soft EDM beats accompany the relaxing vocals typically found in the band’s songs. The real intrigue comes in the form of the lyrics, which deliver a magnificent promise: a reflection of the time we have in this life. “Do you remember we were standing here a year ago,” the song asks, “I know we promised we’d be doing this ‘til we die/And now I fear we might.”
Songs such as “Instant Destiny” remind us of the infinite nature of our actions and our ability to redefine our lives in an instant. The repetitive nature of the beats and vocals on many of these tracks further emphasizes the deeper meaning to Tame Impala’s seemingly simple sounds.
“Borderline” and “It Might Be Time” are perhaps the most striking examples of classic Tame Impala sounds with a return of a mixture of rock, hip hop, EDM and upbeat instruments. However, the same cannot be said for much else of the album. In “Posthumous Forgiveness,” Parker reflects on his childhood relationship with his father. “I always thought heroes stayed close,” Parker reveals, “but you decided to take all your sorry’s to the grave.” A slowed, dramatic use of trance-like beats stuns the listener, revealing a much more personal, emotional side to the one-man band, one which the listener can’t help but emphatically appreciate and relate to.
It’s not all introspective thinking, however. Parker ensures the listener can lose him/herself dancing along to any song. Personally, I recommend listening to the album alone or with a friend whilst driving late at night to truly feel all the emotions that Parker evokes, but nearly any song can turn into a fun jam with friends or by yourself. My go-to choices are “Glimmer” and “Is It True.” There is no greater feeling than experiencing the freedom that these songs reveal. Through their sounds and actions they evoke in me and other listeners, the songs help return the fun and reflection to our human side.
The album itself is a delightfully upbeat and, at times, somber appeal to humanity. “And if I’m counting days, dream fruition ain’t what it’s looking like,” Parker sings. “But strictly speaking I’m still on track…the rest gets easy.”