Time is something that everyone wishes they had more of, whether that means more time to hang out or more time to make things right. This is something that Tame Impala’s long awaited album, “The Slow Rush,” will have the listener wishing for. “The Slow Rush” is the five year follow up to the band’s polarizing classic “Currents.” The album not only reached major heights in the alternative scene, but was also popular amongst hip-hop fans. Kevin Parker and the band have come together once again to create an album that uses funky tunes and good bass to depict all the concepts and aspects of time itself.
Past memories, nostalgia and uncertainty about the future are evident throughout the album in an optimistic and interesting fashion. Standout tracks such as “It Might be Time” and “Posthumous Forgiveness” dive deep into Parker’s mindset as he sings about getting older, not being as fun as he once was. Moving on in “It Might Be Time,” Parker shares a heartfelt conversation he wishes he had with his father talking about his success, music and ultimately forgiving his father for all the things that happened while he was growing up. The production fails to disappoint as the band’s trademark funky grooves are still as present as ever; in some instances, the album’s chord progressions and melodies are reminiscent of old Stevie Wonder albums. Warbly psychedelia and hypnotic electric bumps toss the listener into a slew of new and deeply fascinating sounds. Parker’s use of the synth and ambitious chords allow for the concept of the album to flourish beautifully. Songs like “Breathe Deeper” leave you drifting in a sea of chord progressions and funky synths. As aforementioned, the production from Parker and the crew are second to none; the grooves are still alive and well.
Although the production and instrumentation are great, I felt the album lacked ambition. Yet, overall it had a great culmination of similar topics pertaining to the essence of time. Time heals wounds, mends relationships and helps a person grow internally which is highlighted throughout the album greatly. Tracks such as the single “Borderlines” where Parker sings about his success and where he is now in his journey as a big name artist speaks to being on the edge of a new world and a new place in the band’s career. It’s apparent that Parker is concerned about his future in a way that I think most people are when venturing into new aspects of life. There are many moments in the album that have an upbeat groove to it; yet, the album isn’t as upbeat and fast-paced as the previous album. Songs like “Is It True” speaks on young love and the spontaneity of a relationship, along with its uncertainty, which is displayed through funky drums and groovy synths.
Looking past the album, I really enjoyed the cover which shows a room being filled with sand, symbolizing the sands of time. The cover makes even more sense after a few listens. Time is a slow rush, an oxymoron that depicts time in the simplest way possible. It passes slowly in the moment, but it also moves faster than anyone is really ready for. Aside from its shortcomings, the essence of time is captured beautifully throughout the album with standouts such as “Instant Destiny” that speaks on being in love and being fearless with the future.
The album aims to show how fast time passes as it pertains to relationships and experiences throughout our daily lives. This is apparent in the first song “One More Year,” where Parker sings about where the band was a year ago compared to where they are now. The album has a lot of optimism for the future which I found to be a nice sentiment. It’s clear that Parker is in a place where he isn’t trying to take his stardom too seriously; rather he’s enjoying the time he has now and soaking everything in. Overall I felt the album had a lot of great elements to it, but it does have its moments of falling short. The album ventures into a few new sounds but lacked some ambition as compared to the band’s previous work.
This album was a little too slow for me personally with little takeaway, but I still found it enjoyable to listen to. There are many good moments within the album that I think anyone could find something to love about it. For the Tame Impala fan, you may be optimistic at Parker and the crew’s new venture into uncharted territory. However, if you were more fond of “Currents” and were hoping for upbeat funky grooves all the way through then this won’t be the album you were hoping for.
Verdict: All in all, “The Slow Rush” is an introspective perspective on time, nostalgia, love and not taking one moment for granted because life is short and in a lot of cases, a slow rush. Parker puts his past experiences, doubts and concerns about the future on display on this project. It is definitely worth the listen.