Kevin Parker’s newest release only decently builds upon his previous synth-inspired “Currents,” but meshes that with what made his other two albums great.
After a long awaited five-year hiatus, Tame Impala returns with his fourth full-length record. Before the release of “The Slow Rush,” Parker teased four tracks that made it onto the record: “Borderline,” “Posthumous Forgiveness,” “Lost In Yesterday” and “It Might Be Time.” The last two feature groovy disco influenced production mixed with catchy refrains reminiscent of Parker’s hit, “The Less I Know The Better.” Tracks such as “Instant Destiny," “Breathe Deeper” and “Is It True” are excellent examples of more tracks that promote this theme on “The Slow Rush.”
The album also boasts slower, more melodic tracks such as “Posthumous Forgiveness,” “Tomorrow’s Dust” and “On Track.” Though not as refrain heavy and head-bobbing, the change of pace is a nice touch. Unlike its predecessor, “Currents,” Parker’s newest record features less interludes and shorter tracks. Every track excluding “Instant Destiny” and the interlude, “Glimmer,” are four to seven minutes in length and do a solid job retaining the listener’s attention for the entire duration.
Within the track “Glimmer” we receive a glimpse of one of the album’s faults: transitions. Parker has never been one to heavily rely on transitions within or between tracks, but songs “Glimmer” and “Tomorrow’s Dust” feature a strange opening and closing that doesn’t add to the atmosphere of the album. On the contrary, it takes the listener out of the previously established atmosphere. Though the album has a clear instrumental theme, the lack of transitions almost feels as if each track is a single rather than one cohesive piece.
The transitional error is fortunately only minor compared to Parker’s poor start to the record with “One More Year.” Featuring an off-putting beginning synth lead and annoying vocal inflection, the opening track is an awful way to establish the album. The melody itself is poor and the vocally manipulated lyric, “one more year,” makes the track a pass on most listens. Combining this with the closer “One More Hour” which lingers for too long, the album sadly doesn’t stick the landing.
The album does a good job creating a thematic balance between the heavy synth-electronics of “Currents” and punchy instrumental grooves of “Lonerism.” “The Slow Rush” is a solid continuation in the Tame Impala discography but doesn’t reinvent his sound enough to standout highly among is past records.
Favorite Tracks: Instant Destiny, Borderline, Posthumous Forgiveness, Breathe Deeper, Lost In Yesterday, Is It True, It Might Be Time